Jul 21, 2013 1:57 PM by Stephen Bowers
We often receive reports of "severe thunderstorms" with no explanation of why the storm is severe. That's why, when reporting severe weather, it's important to report exactly what you are seeing. We need to know, not just that you are seeing hail, but also how large it is and where you saw it occur. Be as specific as possible.
When reporting wind, be specific about what that wind is doing. If damage occurred, that's information that will help us determine the storm's strength. Be sure to describe that damage with as much detail as you can when you report.
There's a reason for this. To be classified as "severe" a thunderstorm has to meet strict criteria. By definition, a thunderstorm is considered severe when it produces the following conditions:
If a thunderstorm is known to be producing these conditions or if radar shows strong evidence that these criteria are being met or will be met, warnings will be issued accordingly by the National Weather Service.
So remember, when you report severe weather to us, be as specific as you can about what you are seeing and where you are seeing it. Often, the National Weather Service needs those reports so they know to issue the warnings, and we will pass those reports to the meteorologists at the National Weather Service so they have that extra knowledge to help them issue warnings.