Severe Weather Awareness Week: What is considered a severe thunderstorm?

Posted at 5:40 AM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 08:35:37-04

(WXYZ) — Severe Weather Awareness Week kicks off Monday and our 7 First Alert Meteorologists are committed to providing you everything you need to know about severe weather ahead of this summer.

Each morning, 7 First Alert Meteorologist Kevin Jeanes will talk about some aspect of severe weather. On Monday, it was severe thunderstorms.

A severe thunderstorm is stronger than traditional storms and has a threat to life and property.

In Michigan, it is the greatest threat we have as we don't get too many tornadoes.

Also, severe thunderstorms are more common and more damaging than tornadoes because of the straight-line winds and wind gusts.

They are considered severe when there is hail that is 1" or more in diameter and wind gusts 58 mph or higher.

There are two different alerts for them: Severe Thunderstorm watches & warnings.

A watch is when severe weather is possible, usually issued hours in advance.

A warning is issued when severe weather is imminent, and it is issued just minutes in advance. That's when you need to take cover and make sure you have a plan in place.