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New severe thunderstorm alerts coming to smartphones

Here's all you need to know about the new severe thunderstorm alerts, coming soon to your smartphones.

ARKANSAS, USA — Severe thunderstorms are not one-size-fits-all around the country. Some storms produce very high winds, others can develop large baseball-sized hail.

The National Weather Service starting Monday will add a damage category to convey the type of danger that each severe thunderstorm warning could produce.

A severe thunderstorm is a storm that is capable of producing quarter-sized hail (1” in diameter) and/or winds of 58 mph or greater.

Warnings will be broken down into three options going from lowest damage threat to the highest damage and danger threat. 

See the graphic below. 

Credit: KTHV

A general severe thunderstorm warning or “base” is applied to a storm that reaches the threshold for a severe thunderstorm. 

A considerable tag is added to the text of the warning if weather information shows the potential or expectation of at least golfball-sized hail and/or 70 mph winds.

A destructive tag is added to the text of the warning if weather information shows the potential or expectation of at least baseball-sized hail and/or 80 mph damaging winds.

When this is issued a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) will be triggered on all smart phones in the path of danger. This is the same type of alert you get for a tornado warning or amber alert. This would be issued when a supercell or derecho is expected.

Below is an example of what the new tag looks like when reading the WEA alert.

Credit: KTHV

Remember, no matter how many lightning strikes a storm produces, that is not the criteria to define a storm as being severe and no warning will be issued solely on that threat. 

Any storm can produce a deadly lightning strike. If you hear thunder that is a high warning that you are close enough to the storm to get struck. Get indoors or to a safe place ASAP.

You can stay up to date on the changing weather by downloading the free THV11 app! 

Credit: KTHV

Don’t forget to send us your pics or reports of the weather by texting them to us. 

Credit: KTHV

RELATED: Your Arkansas weather forecast from THV11