Beginning on April 1st, the National Weather Service will change the way it issues Thunderstorm warnings.
Right now, to be classified as a thunderstorm, a cell must contain 65 mph winds and 3/4″ hail.
On April 1, that standard changes to hail 1 inch in diameter.
The benefit of increasing the hail criteria up to 1″ is that we estimate about 40% fewer Severe Thunderstorm Warnings. This has been tested in Kansas for the past 3 years or so, and the media, emergency managers and the public really like the change. Also, recent damage assessment studies indicated that it takes 1″ or larger hail to produce damage to structures or autos.