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Your Questions Answered

  1. Question: Will there be any change to the severe thunderstorm wind gust criteria of 58 MPH?

    Answer:   There will not be a change to the wind gust criteria for severe storms. Most severe thunderstorm warnings are for the potential for wind related damage (this is particularly true in the Eastern U.S. and along the Gulf Coast).

  2. Question: What about significant, but less than severe thunderstorms?

    Answer: The National Weather Service currently issues Special Weather Statements for strong but less than severe storms, and has strengthened policy in this area to make these statements common practice.

  3. Question: What about crop damage?

    Answer: Hail size is not the only factor when it comes to crop damage by a severe storm. Even very small hail can destroy crops depending on the crop maturity, wind speed or speed of the hail stones, and persistence. A few very large stones can do less damage than a lot of small stones. The National Weather Service does not currently issue warnings specifically for the potential of crop damage, nor are there plans to change that. Special Weather Statements are issued for strong storms that do not reach severe criteria.

  4. Question: Will aviation products change?

    Answer: No changes in aviation products are currently planned. There are ongoing discussions between the National Weather Service and the Federal Aviation Administration on potential changes to the Convective Sigmet criteria. Local Airport Warning criteria will not change.

  5. Question: Will there be impacts to the historical database?

    Answer: The National Weather Service will continue to record and encourage reporting of hail of less than 1 inch in diameter. Spotters and the public are encouraged to continue to send reports of penny and nickel size hail.

Department of Commerce
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services
Warning Decision Training Branch
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
Norman, OK 73072
Page Author: WDTB Webmaster
Page last modified: January 5, 2010 13:29

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