New National Weather Service Warning Category Will Trigger Alert On Your Phone
The National Weather Service has announced they're putting a pair of new warning categories into effect soon. One of the two will trigger an alert to your cell phone.
Today, the National Weather Service said that the new categories will be in place for especially strong severe thunderstorms. The added warning categories are for "Destructive" and "Considerable" damage threats. The new warning categories will each go into effect on Monday, August 2. Here are the specifics.
A "Destructive" Severe Thunderstorm Warning will be issued if a storm has at least 2.75-inch hail. That's baseball-sized. If a storm has either hail of that size and/or winds of 80 miles-per-hour, the "Destructive" warning would be issued. If you are in the area where one of these storms is located, you'll receive a message similar to the one below.
The National Weather Service will also be able to issue a "Considerable" damage Severe Thunderstorm Warning. This type of warning will NOT activate a mobile alert on your phone but would still be very strong. That type of storm is identified by the National Weather Service as one that has 70 mph winds and/or hail that's at least 1.75 inches in diameter, or golf-ball sized.
The threshold for a Severe Thunderstorm Warning will remain unchanged. A warning is issued when a storm has hail that's quarter-size (one-inch) and/or has winds that reach 58 mph or more. A storm of that nature will continue to NOT activate an alert on your mobile phone.
While the National Weather Service points out only about 10 percent of thunderstorms that are severe reach the destructive category, they also say that of the 22 costliest weather disasters of 2020, almost 60 percent of them would have caused the "Destructive" tag to be issued. That includes the storm that devastated large parts of the Midwest on August 10 of last year. The costliest thunderstorm in the history of the United States, the derecho caused $11 billion in damage.
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