StormReady: Severe Thunderstorms

On average, the United States experiences about 100,000 thunderstorms each year. About 10,000 of those storms reach severe limits.

There are many misconceptions about what makes a thunderstorm severe. Many people think that dark, scary looking clouds, heavy rainfall, or a lot of lightning and thunder makes a thunderstorm severe. However, for a thunderstorm to be classified as severe it must meet one or more of the following criteria: wind gusts to 58 mph or higher, hail one inch in diameter or larger and or a tornado. The presence of dark clouds and heavy rain may look and sound severe, but since they do not meet the above criteria, they are considered general thunderstorms.

Severe thunderstorms are capable of producing everything from small, localized pockets of damage, to large widespread swaths of damage that can run for tens or even hundreds of miles. This damage can include tree and power line damage, damage to homes and out buildings and significant power outages.

It’s important to have a plan in place to protect you and your family.

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