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NWS To Send Cell Phone Alerts For ‘Destructive’ Thunderstorms

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Starting at the end of July, your phone will automatically alert you to thunderstorms considered to be “destructive” in your area.

The National Weather Service announced Thursday that “destructive” damage threat tags will be added to severe thunderstorms warnings starting July 28. The change will distinguish between high-impact and low-level storms.

“Destructive thunderstorms” are defined as storms with baseball-sized hail (2.75 inches in diameter) and/or 80 mph winds.

On average, only 10% of severe thunderstorms every year reach the destructive category nationwide, according to the NWS. When that happens, the storms are more likely damaging wind events like derechoes and more intense thunderstorms, often called “supercell” storms which produce large amounts of hail.

NWS says a “considerable” damage threat is defined as storms with golf ball-sized hail and/or 70 mph winds, and “base” severe thunderstorms see hail of 1 inch in diameter and/or 58 mph winds. These two categories will not send out automatic alerts to your phone.

Currently, the NWS alerts also warn users of flash floods, tornadoes, and snow squalls.

To learn more about the new destructive thunderstorm warning, click here.

Source: CBS Minnesota

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