Be Prepared for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings

Severe Weather Awareness
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(ABC9 News) –  Severe Weather Week continues on ABC9 News and Tuesday’s topic is “Severe Thunderstorms.”

A severe thunderstorm is defined by reaching either or both of these criteria…
1. A storm with 58 MPH or greater wind speeds
2. 1″ diameter hail or larger

Severe thunderstorms are not to be taken lightly! Hail and strong winds can strip the siding from homes, puncture through windows, or even topple smaller structures.

All three Siouxland states including Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota, are included in the highest hail storm risk area which stretches through the central United States. In fact, the largest hailstone ever recorded fell in Vivian, SD back on July 23, 2010 weighing in at nearly 2 pounds! But strong wind gusts of 60, 70, 80, and even 90 miles per hour are what often bring more widespread damage.

Remember to always treat Severe Thunderstorm Warnings issued by the National Weather Service with an appropriate level of caution by moving indoors and staying away from windows.

For the most complete and up-to-date information, you can follow ABC9 News on-air and online. There are a few online resources that we keep updated with weather information including the ABC9 Facebook page, @kcautv on Twitter, and of course

The NOAA Weather Radio is the voice of the National Weather Service and is available at Hy-Vee for a discounted price. It’s a terrific tool in severe weather preparedness alerting you of Watches and Warnings immediately as they’re issued.

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