Thunderstorms are considered "severe" when they pack winds of 58 miles per hour or more and drop hail 3/4 of an inch or larger in size.
1. ALL thunderstorms pose a LIGHTNING THREAT! If you can hear thunder, the storm is close enough to be a threat! Find out more about lightning here.
2. High winds can accompany thunderstorms, blowing debris around, knocking down trees and bringing down powerlines.
- 3. Torrential rains in thunderstorms can bring flash floods. Floods are the number one storm related killers. Get more flood facts and safety information here.
4. Thunderstorms can also drop damaging hail. Large hail is a sign that a strong downburst (causing straight-line winds) could be imminent or that a tornado is possible. The larger the hail is, the stronger the updraft in the thunderstorm is. That means the possibility of graver dangers exists. Downbursts actually happen much more often and cause more damage yearly than tornados.
- Get more thunderstorm facts and safety information here.