Officials: Thunderstorm Warnings Might Warn Of Very Different Storms

Sheldon, Iowa — This is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa. Each day this week, the National Weather Service is focusing on a different severe weather topic.

Monday’s topic is severe thunderstorms.

The National Weather Service’s Sioux Falls office covers northwest Iowa. The Warning Coordination Meteorologist for that office is Peter Rogers. He tells us more.

And, Rogers says, those are the minimum criteria. Often, it’s much worse than that.

He says the “take-away” here is that sometimes people think that a severe thunderstorm warning is not very serious because it’s not a tornado warning. But that’s often a dangerous way of thinking. He reminds us to listen to the content of the severe thunderstorm warning. Is it warning us of one thunderstorm with winds of 58 miles per hour? Or is it warning us of a derecho with winds up to 140 miles per hour? He reminds us that the same product would be issued for both of these storms — a severe thunderstorm warning. So take the time to listen to what’s expected to occur.

Weather officials also remind us that even thunderstorms that are too weak to be called “severe” still produce deadly lightning. So they tell us, “When thunder roars, go indoors.”



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