Severe Weather Awareness 2018: Severe Thunderstorms

There are approximately 2,000 thunderstorms in progress around the world at any given time. Most of these storms are beneficial and bring needed rain. Only a small fraction, less than one percent, are classified as severe. Severe thunderstorms are those thunderstorms that produce hail one inch in diameter or larger or strong wind gusts of 58 mph or greater. Hail that is one inch in diameter is about the size of a quarter. A small fraction of these thunderstorms produce tornadoes. All thunderstorms are capable of producing deadly lightning. The heavy rains or the lightning activity in a thunderstorm do not have anything to do with a thunderstorm being classified as severe. Some of the severe thunderstorms safety rules are as follows:

  • Find shelter immediately. Go to a sturdy building that will withstand high winds. Avoid electrical appliances and telephones.
  • It would be a good idea to bring your car inside a garage and to secure loose objects.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means that conditions are right for severe thunderstorms to develop, but none have been observed. People should keep an eye on the sky and listen to commercial broadcasts or NOAA Weather Radio for any subsequent warnings.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning means that a severe thunderstorm is occurring. The severe thunderstorm has been detected by Doppler radar, or reported to the National Weather Service by our Skywarn Spotter Network, or the local law enforcement agency in a particular county.

When a Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued for your location, treat it the same as you would a Tornado Warning. Severe thunderstorms can produce damaging winds, large hail, and deadly lightning and will occasionally produce a tornado, particularly in very strong squall lines, where a brief tornado can occur with little notice.’s “Storm Center” is your one-stop shop for severe weather information. The MWN Storm Center includes Mid-South radar, a clickable watch/warning map that updates as new alerts are issued by the NWS, recent storm reports, maps outlining severe risk areas from the severe weather experts at the Storm Prediction Center, and severe weather safety tips. If you are looking for information on severe weather in the Mid-South, the MWN Storm Center is the place to start!

Also, don’t forget our mobile severe weather alerting tool that capitalizes on the convenience of mobile app technology! StormWatch+ will alert you if you are in the path of the storm via mobile phone, even if you are asleep. In addition, the StormWatch+ EnRoute feature will alert you if you drive into a severe weather warning! StormWatch+ is available within the MWN mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. Learn more or download the app by visiting on your computer or mobile device.

Severe wind reports (58+ mph) in the Mid-South by month. Most high wind reports occur in spring and summer, though they can occur in any month. Courtesy NWS-Memphis.

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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

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rental mobil
10 years ago

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