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Weather service offering new thunderstorm warning system

The National Weather Service has begun issuing severe thunderstorm warnings using damage threat categories.

Warnings tagged with “destructive” will trigger a wireless emergency alert on your phone/mobile device. Destructive storms are predicted to produce at least 2.75 inch diameter hail (baseball-sized) and/or 80 mph thunderstorm winds.

Only one wireless emergency alert will be sent per warning. It could be the initial warning or a subsequent update.

Warnings tagged with “considerable” will not trigger a wireless emergency alert. Considerable storms are predicted to produce at least 1.75 inch diameter hail (golf ball-sized) and/or 70 mph thunderstorm winds.

Baseline severe thunderstorm warnings will continue to be issued for 1.00 inch diameter hail (quarter-sized) and/or 58 mph thunderstorm winds.

Wireless emergency alerts depend on an individual's carrier, phone and phone settings. While these alerts are a powerful tool for the notification of high-end hazards, it is important that people have multiple ways to receive warning information.

Other options include a NOAA Weather Radio,, automated text alerts from local emergency services, third-party phone apps or local media.

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