NWS to add ‘damage threat’ to severe thunderstorm alerts

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(WHNT) — Beginning August 2, the National Weather Service (NWS) will begin adding a “damage threat” to severe thunderstorm alerts.

The new alert will be added when storms show a damage threat in any of these categories:

  • Destructive: Hail at least 2.75 inches in diameter (baseball-sized) and/or 80 mph winds. Warnings in this category will automatically activate a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on smartphones within the warned area.
  • Considerable: Hail at least 1.75 inches in diameter (golf ball-sized) and/or 70 mph winds. Warnings in this category will not activate a WEA.
  • Baseline: Hail at least 1 inch in diameter (quarter-sized) and/or 58 mph winds. Warnings in this category will not active a WEA.

This makes a great addition to News 19’s Live Alert app which provides local weather alerts of all kinds to viewers across the Tennessee Valley.

The new damage threat categories allow individuals in a warned area to react promptly to a situation where urgent action is required, a life-threatening event is happening, or substantial property damage may occur.

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