Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Boston, MA

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000 NOUS41 KBOX 011325 PNSBOX CTZ002>004-MAZ002>024-026-RIZ001>008-021330- Public Information Statement National Weather Service Taunton MA 925 AM EDT Mon May 1 2017 ...SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK - DEFINITION OF A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM... The National Weather Service in Taunton has declared the week of May 1 to May 5 as Severe Weather Preparedness Week in southern New England. The following is the first in a series of five public information statements that will be issued this week. A severe thunderstorm is defined as a thunderstorm that produces wind gusts of at least 58 mph and/or hail 1.00 inches in diameter or larger, the size of a quarter. Severe thunderstorms can and occasionally do spawn tornadoes. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman Oklahoma for large portions of the region when the potential exists for severe thunderstorms. A severe thunderstorm warning is issued by the local National Weather Service forecast office, such as in Taunton, when severe thunderstorms are imminent based on radar or already occurring based on spotter observations. Note that torrential downpours of rain that cause flooding are not part of the definition of severe weather. They would prompt the issuance of Flood or Flash Flood Warnings, but not Severe Thunderstorm Warnings. It is important to note that frequent lightning also is not a criterion for what is termed severe weather. Of course, lightning can be extremely dangerous, but every thunderstorm has lightning. That is what causes the thunder. It is not practical to issue a warning for every thunderstorm, thus we issue Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for those storms that could produce large hail and/or damaging winds. NOAA Weather radios, with warning alarm tones, will alert you when a Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued. However, they will not sound an alarm for non-severe thunderstorms, which still can produce deadly lightning. We recommend that lifeguards at beaches and pools have hand-held lightning detectors. The same is true for athletic coaches, camp directors, and parks and recreation workers. Even without equipment, you can protect yourself by moving indoors to a place of safety at the first rumble of thunder. If you can hear the thunder, the storm is usually close enough for you to have the potential to be struck by lightning. $$ For the latest updates...please visit our webpage at You can follow us on Facebook at You can follow us on Twitter at @NWSBoston is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.