National Weather Service adding categories to severe thunderstorm warnings

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Starting August 2, the National Weather Service will be issuing categories for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings based on the damage threat the storm poses. The new system has three separate categories for better clarification on the impacts the storm could be causing.

“Baseline” is the lowest damage threat and is considered the “base” of warnings. This remains unchanged from the old system. Storms that produce quarter-sized hail and/or 58 mph winds are considered baseline.

“Considerable” is the next level up when storms with golf ball-sized hail and/or 70 mph winds are possible.

“Destructive” is the highest damage threat as storms could be producing baseball-sized hail or larger and/or 80 mph winds. If a “Destructive Severe Thunderstorm Warning” is issued you will get an alert on your phone too. On average, only 10 percent of all severe thunderstorms reach the destructive category each year, nationwide.

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