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3 things that make a storm severe

Posted at 11:17 AM, Mar 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-04 15:26:17-05

Not all thunderstorms are created equal.

While some thunderstorms last a few minutes and do nothing more than drop a little rain and show a few flashes of lightning, others can leave a path of destruction in their wake.

Severe thunderstorms must meet at least one of three different criteria including strong winds winds in excess of 58 mph, hail larger than an inch, or a tornado.

Lightning and heavy rain do not make a storm severe, but it doesn't mean they're any less dangerous. After all, lightning on average kills more than 50 people a year and flooding kills even more than that.

During Severe Weather Preparedness Week, the National Weather Service recommends you learn more about the weather threats in your area and plan with your family what to do when one of these events occurs.

The Storm Shield Weather Radio App for your iPhone or Android device can alert its user to any incoming severe weather for their exact location. It's like having a weather radio with you at all times, giving you and your family extra time to take cover during bad weather.