Some Severe Thunderstorm Warnings will soon alert on smartphones

Starting August 2, the National Weather Service will convey a “damage threat” tag to some Severe Thunderstorm Warnings which will trigger an alert to your cell phone, similar to Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings.

Not all thunderstorms will trigger an alert.

The NWS stated last week: “we developed three categories of damage threat for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings. The categories, in order of highest to lowest damage threat, are destructive, considerable, and base. These tags and additional messaging are designed to promote immediate action, based on the threats.”

Only storms deemed “destructive” will trigger an alert on enabled phones.

The criteria for a destructive damage threat is at least 2.75 inch diameter (baseball-sized) hail and/or 80 mph thunderstorm winds. Warnings with this tag will automatically activate a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on smartphones within the warned area.