SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — It is the first day of Severe Weather Awareness Week at KCAU 9, and we start with what criteria we need to have a thunderstorm be categorized as severe.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issues a Severe Thunderstorm Warning when at least one of the following criteria occurs…

1. Thunderstorm has produced hail of 1 inch or greater in diameter

2. Expected wind speeds of over 58 MPH

3. Radar-indicated tornado, or verified by a spotter

Severe Thunderstorm Warning criteria

Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are issued because these different factors can present risk to live and property. The first safety tip in order to keep yourself safe from a Severe Thunderstorm, make sure to seek shelter in an interior room of a sturdy building, go to the lowest level of a building, if possible, particularly in a basement. The second tip is to avoid contact with electrical equipment as it can increase the likelihood of getting shocked by lightning. The last tip is to stay out of areas that have windows that way you are not hurt by debris or broken glass if the windows break. The best place to go is usually a bathroom or the basement. Make sure to have a plan for you and your family in case of a severe thunderstorm.

Safety Tips during a Severe Thunderstorm

During any severe weather event, make sure you tune in to KCAU 9 News for the most up to date and accurate information. Make sure to download the new KCAU 9 Weather app, as it sends you alerts for your current location, and best of all, it’s free! Make sure you also have a NOAA Weather Radio, as it is a good tool to keep you ahead of the storm 24/7.

Stay with KCAU 9 News for Severe Weather Awareness topics throughout the week and get the local forecast any time right here.