National Weather Service creates new ‘Destructive Severe Thunderstorm Warning’


Patrick Cox. Taken about 5 miles north of Strasburg, CO this afternoon at approx. 2:30 pm. I was following this storm as it left the Boulder area.

DENVER (KDVR) — The National Weather Service announced a new layer of warning for destructive thunderstorms.

The new warning will be called a “Destructive Thunderstorm Warning” and will begin on Aug. 2.

The first layer of warning issued during a severe storm will be a Severe Thunderstorm Warning. A secondary warning, “Destructive Thunderstorm Warning” will be issued on top of the first warning if hail of 2.75 inches in diameter (baseball sized) is imminent and/or 80 mile per hour winds or stronger are expected in a specific county, according to the NWS.

The alert will be sent directly to a smartphone if it’s located in the warned county. It will look like this:

Credit: National Weather Service

The NWS said the criteria for a severe thunderstorm warning will not change.

  • 1.00 inch (quarter-sized) hail and/or 58 mph thunderstorm winds
  • You will not get an alert on your phone with this type of warning (unless you are signed up for a different service or app that sends alerts for t-storm warnings)

On average, only 10 percent of all severe thunderstorms reach the destructive category each year, nationwide, according to the NWS.

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