Severe thunderstorm warnings may soon look different.
A new proposal from the National Weather Service would create a tiered system for severe thunderstorm warnings, including the possibility of triggering a wireless emergency alert on your phone.
Currently, when a severe thunderstorm warning is issued for your location, that means the NWS is estimating winds at least 58 mph, and/or hail at least an inch in diameter, or approximately the size of a quarter. All severe storms are currently labeled the same by the weather service as long as they meet that criteria.
Under the tier proposal, if a storm packed winds of at least 70 mph and/or hail the size of a golf ball or bigger (1.75 inches in diameter), the NWS would tag that severe thunderstorm warning as having a “considerable” damage threat to it.
If winds were at least 80 mph and/or hail was the size of a baseball or bigger (2.75 inches in diameter), the NWS would tag that severe thunderstorm warning as having a “destructive” damage threat to it. Storms with a “destructive” tag would also, under the NWS proposal, trigger the emergency alert function on your phone, similar to that of a tornado or flash flood warning.
The idea behind the new system is to better warn the public about the deadliest and most dangerous severe storms. It’s estimated that only 2 percent of severe thunderstorm warnings would meet the “destructive” criteria.
The NWS is accepting public feedback here through July 31.
Source: Read Full Article