National Weather Service to add ‘destructive’ thunderstorm warning to cellphone alerts

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 11:10 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Beginning Aug. 2, the National Weather Service will start adding potential damage descriptors to all Severe Thunderstorm Warnings sent to cellphones.

The descriptors are intended to better prepare the public for the degree of severity of any severe thunderstorm.

A baseline, or base, thunderstorm generates hail of 1″ (quarter-size) or greater and/or winds of 58mph or higher.

The expected damage of a thunderstorm is classified as “considerable” if hail is forecast to have a diameter of 1.75″ (golf ball-size) and wind gusts up to 70mph.

The strongest category is “destructive,” and storms this strong may have 2.75″ (baseball-size) hail with winds up to 80mph or higher.

Since the middle 1990s, when the age of doppler radar began, the NWS has had a goal to issue severe thunderstorm warnings before damage occurs.

This is a new step to better communicate the potential danger of a thunderstorm nearing the area.

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