(CBSDFW.COM) – Starting on Aug. 2, the National Weather Service will be more descriptive of its severe thunderstorm warnings by adding the types of damage the storms threaten.
The organization on Thursday said the new damage categories for the warnings will be “destructive” and “considerable.”
If a storm falls under the “destructive” category, the NWS said the severe thunderstorm warning will trigger an emergency alert on smartphones within the area. Storms under the “considerable” category or below will not activate an emergency alert.
Starting July 28, Severe Thunderstorms deemed “destructive” will activate a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on smartphones. Criteria for a destructive threat is at least 2.75 inch diameter hail and/or 80 mph thunderstorm winds.
— National Weather Service (@NWS) July 22, 2021
According to the NWS, a “destructive” storm can bring threats of at least 2.75 inch diameter hail and/or 80 mph winds. “Considerable” damage describes at least 1.75 diameter hail and/or 70 mph winds.
“The new destructive thunderstorm category conveys to the public urgent action is needed, a life-threatening event is occurring and may cause substantial damage to property,” the NWS said in a news release.
The NWS said about 10% of all severe thunderstorms on average reach the “destructive” category each year in the U.S.