Criteria for a Severe Thunderstorm Warning

Criteria for a Severe Thunderstorm Warning ImageThe National Weather Service (NWS) is the official U.S. government agency charged with issuing weather watches, warnings, and advisories and is the source used by Below is the criteria for a severe thunderstorm used by NWS forecasters when issuing a severe thunderstorm warning…


  • 1 inch hail (the size of quarters) and/or
  • 58 mph wind

When a severe thunderstorm warning is issued it means there is an immediate danger for the warned area and those in the storm path should take cover immediately. Severe thunderstorms can occur in all 50 states, but are most common in the lower 48 states.

Looking for the criteria for a Tornado Warning or a weather glossary?

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