The National Weather Service (NWS) is changing the way severe weather alerts will be issued for thunderstorms. Starting July 28th, the NWS will be issuing different level warnings for severe thunderstorms. Severe thunderstorm warnings are typically issued when thunderstorms are capable of producing winds in excess of 58 mph and/or hail 1" in diameter or greater. When thunderstorms are capable of producing winds over 70 mph or golf ball size hail, the NWS will include the words "considerable damage".
In the event of potentially major damage, where winds are expected over 80 mph or baseball size hail, the National Weather Service will be issuing wireless emergency alerts. Cell phones in the warning zone will be alerted to the danger. This is the only scenario where wireless emergency alerts will be issued in relation to severe thunderstorm warnings.