BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - As part of the National Weather Service's Severe Weather Awareness Week, WAFB wants you to know more about Severe Thunderstorms.

A Severe Thunderstorm is defined as a storm that has winds of at least 58 mph and/or hail at least 1 inch in diameter.

The NWS actually uses knots as the unit of measurement for wind speed. A thunderstorm must have winds of 50 knots or 58 mph to be considered severe.


The NWS will issue a thunderstorm warning under the following conditions:

  • Winds 58 mph or greater
  • Hail at least 1” in diameter

Warnings are issued when severe weather is occurring. Watches are issued when severe weather is possible.

Do not take severe thunderstorms lightly. These storms can have flooding rains, winds, hail or tornadoes.

These storms can form rapidly, especially during the summer months.

First Alert Weather Meteorologist Steve Caparotta recommends you multiple ways to receive severe thunderstorm warnings, such as an NOAA weather radio or the free First Alert Weather App. Also be sure to follow Steve Caparotta and the rest of the First Alert Weather team on social media.

You can download the free First Alert Weather App on your Android or Apple/iOS device.

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