What exactly is a severe thunderstorm? - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

What exactly is a severe thunderstorm?

WDAM First Alert Weather Team WDAM First Alert Weather Team

Have you ever been in one of those thunderstorms where lightning is popping nearly continuous all around you or the rain is so heavy you can’t see your neighbor’s house? You look to your TV or internet only to find that there isn’t a warning out? How can this be? What qualifies as a severe thunderstorm?

Here is your answer. The National Weather Service’s criteria for a severe thunderstorm is defined by three things, 58+ mph winds, hail one inch in diameter or larger and/or a tornado. That’s it! The reason this is because these three things can cause the most damage to life and property.

Lightning isn’t on this list because all thunderstorms have lightning and if you’re under the core of the storm, that’s where you’ll see the worst. The same goes for heavy rain as well.

So the next time the forecast calls for storms or severe weather, be ready and have a plan. Because severe weather can strike anytime of the day, anytime of the year.

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