Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS North Platte, NE

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NOUS43 KLBF 041341

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service North Platte NE
841 AM CDT Wed Apr 4 2018 /741 AM MDT Wed Apr 4 2018/


The National Weather Service and Nebraska Emergency Management
have declared the week of March 26 as Severe Weather Awareness
Week. This statement serves as a recap of safety topics covered
last week.

What`s the difference between a general thunderstorm and a severe
one? Severe thunderstorms contain one or more of the following...
hail one inch in diameter or larger, damaging winds 58 miles per
hour or greater, or a tornado. NWS North Platte issued 263 severe
thunderstorm warnings and 18 tornado warnings for 2017.

There are numerous aspects of severe thunderstorms that pose a
threat to life and property. Along with large hail, strong winds
and tornadoes, everyone must also be aware of lightning and

Hail is produced in a thunderstorm as rising currents of air known
as updrafts carry water droplets to a height where freezing
occurs. Hail continues to grow inside the thunderstorm until it
becomes too heavy and can no longer be supported by the storm
updraft. Once this occurs, the hailstone falls to the ground.
The largest hailstone recorded in the U.S. fell in Vivian, South
Dakota, with a diameter of 7.9 inches and weight just shy of 2
pounds. The Nebraska hail record comes from Aurora in 2003, where
the hail measured 6.5 inches in diameter.

Damaging winds are often caused by downbursts, or on a smaller
scale, microbursts. A downburst is a small area of rapidly
descending air beneath a thunderstorm. Once this air hits the
ground, it spreads out in all directions. Downbursts and the
resulting straight line winds can cause damage comparable to a

Practice your thunderstorm safety plan today by going to your safe
place. Share your picture on Twitter or Facebook using

Anytime the threat for severe weather exists, stay updated on the
latest information by going to the National Weather Service
website,, by tuning into NOAA Weather
Radio, following NWS North Platte social media pages, or following
your local television or radio station. Make sure to watch for
signs for approaching storms, such as darkening skies, increasing
winds, lightning and thunder.

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