Thursday’s topic for severe weather awareness week is severe thunderstorms. This might seem redundant because we have been talking about severe weather all week, but we are focusing on what makes a thunderstorm severe.

So what does the word severe even mean? According to Google, it is something that is very great or intense. This is true when it comes to severe thunderstorms, but I like to think of the word severe meaning damaging. So if a thunderstorm is strong enough to cause damage it is considered severe.

The first and most obvious aspect that makes a thunderstorm that causes damage is a tornado. A thunderstorm that produces a tornado is most definitely severe.

The second aspect of a thunderstorm that makes it severe is strong straight-line winds. Again, the winds have to be strong enough to cause damage. In order for a thunderstorm-caused straight-line wind to be considered severe it must be at least 58 mph.

The last aspect of a thunderstorm that makes it severe is large hail. For hail to be considered severe or damaging it must be at least 1″ in diameter.

Not all thunderstorms are severe, but all thunderstorms can be deadly. All thunderstorms have lightning which can be deadly.

Stick with the Arkansas Storm Team for details on the rest of this week’s topics for severe weather awareness week.

Follow the Arkansas Storm Team

Be alerted as soon as severe weather coverage begins by downloading the Arkansas Storm Team app from the App Store or on Google Play.