Keyword Analysis & Research: when is a thunderstorm considered severe

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the conditions necessary for a thunderstorm to be considered severe?

Thunderstorms can become severe when the atmosphere is particularly unstable and/or additional energy is drawn in from surrounding winds. To produce a thunderstorm the atmosphere needs the right ingredients. These are: Moisture - humid air carrying a lot of water vapour.

What are the dangers of a severe thunderstorm?

Wind Damage: High winds are the main impacts from severe thunderstorms. Wind gusts as high as 58 mph or greater have the potential to knock down and uproot trees, down power lines, and cause structural damage to homes and buildings.

What is the difference between a severe thunderstorm and a regular thunderstorm?

A key difference between a thunderstorm and a severe thunderstorm is that the latter requires wind shear, whereas the former does not. This explains why strong winds or tornadoes often accompany severe thunderstorms. In the strongest thunderstorms, hail can reach the size of baseballs.

What areas are affected by severe thunderstorms?

Severe thunderstorms are common in the Southeast U.S and Midwest. However, they can happen almost anywhere (even in unusual places, like Alaska). If weather conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms, the National Weather Service issues a severe thunderstorm watch.

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