Beginning August 2nd the National Weather Service will add a "damage threat" to severe thunderstorm warnings. This is to convey to the public urgent action is needed.
The "destructive" damage tag is the only one which will trigger the wireless emergency alert on your cell phone. Below is an example of what the alert will look like.
The destructive category has perimeters of 2.75" hail and/or 80mph winds.
Only 10 percent of severe thunderstorms across the United States reach the destructive category each year.
Another category is "considerable" with hail 1.75" and/or wind in excess of 70mph. This will not trigger the WEA on your cell phone, rather help to distinguish the intensity of severe thunderstorms.
When alerted of a severe thunderstorm warning without the delineation of "destructive" or "considerable", assume this is the "baseline" severe thunderstorm with 1" sized hail and/or 58mph winds.
Click here if you would like to learn more about the Wireless Emergency Alert for destructive severe thunderstorms.