When the National Weather Service issues a Tornado Watch or Warning, you know it means either a storm is rolling with the capability of generating a tornado (Watch) or it has generated one that's been spotted somewhere in the area (Warning). But, what about a Severe Thunderstorm Warning? Obviously, it means a strong storm is heading your way, but how strong exactly? Those warnings are a little vague in that regard, and if you're not watching coverage from one of our local meteorologists to get an explanation of what exactly is happening, you don't get the full scope of just how severe the storm is. That's why the National Weather Service has decided to upgrade the warnings they send to your phone with what they call "Damage Threat" tags so you know exactly what's coming.

As we all know here in the Tri-State, tornadoes aren't the only types of storms that can cause damage to your property. If a thunderstorm is severe enough, it doesn't have to form a funnel cloud to wreak havoc across its path. It can produce hail and damaging straight-line winds capable of being just as destructive, but that's not always the case. Sometimes the winds may be strong, but not strong enough to knock over treats or peel shingles off your roof. The alert may have been activated because the storm is generated a large amount of lightning a rain. The new Damage Threat tags will provide more information as to exactly what type of threat a storm is capable of so you can prepare accordingly.

The tags will be broken down into three categories based on the severity of the threat. The Base tag will be the standard alert we've received for years and will be issued when a storm is capable of generating one-inch diameter hail and/or 58 mile per hour winds.

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The Considerable tag will mean a storm is capable of producing 1.75-inch diameter hail and/or 70 mile per hour winds, while the highest threat tag, the Destructive tag, means a storm has the potential of producing "at least" baseball-sized hail and/or 80 mile per hour winds.

Whichever tag is needed, when it shows up on your phone from the National Weather Service, it will look like this:

National Weather Service

Notice the alert clearly lets you know which tag is being used by placing it in all capital letters and spells out exactly what the threat is. In this example, it would be damaging winds.

The new tags will be put to use beginning July 28th.

[Source: National Weather Service]

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