What is considered a severe thunderstorm? - WNEM TV 5

First Warn 5

What is considered a severe thunderstorm?

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It's Severe Weather Awareness Week in the state of Michigan.  The First Warn 5 Weather Team wants you to be ahead of the game and that is why we are educating you this week on what you need to know when it comes to severe weather.

One of the most frequent issues Michiganders will encounter during severe weather season are severe thunderstorms.  

Sometimes it may seem like a thunderstorm rolling through your neighborhood is severe, but there may not be a warning for that storm.  

There happens to be a reason for that.  

The National Weather Service has specific guidelines that help define what a severe thunderstorm is.

In order to be classified as a severe thunderstorm, a storm must be producing hail that is 1 inch in diameter or greater, winds gusting at 58 mph or greater, or capable of producing a tornado.

 A storm can have just one or all of these criteria and the National Weather Service will issue a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.  

For instance, a thunderstorm may produce winds gusting to 50 mph with hail that is 0.75 inches in diameter and while it may be a heavy storm, it is not considered severe.

Stay safe Mid-Michigan and be weather aware.

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