KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City office of the National Weather Service announced Tuesday plans to roll out a new type of alert for the most destructive thunderstorms.
Meteorologists at NWS Kansas City said the new alert will go directly to users' smartphones, similar to the existing alerts for flash flood and tornado warnings.
📰 Extra, extra, read all about it!— NWS Kansas City (@NWSKansasCity) August 3, 2021
We have a new Wireless Emergency Alert for the most destructive severe thunderstorms.
If we expect 80+ mph winds and/or baseball-sized (or larger) hail in your area, then you will be alerted of the severe thunderstorm warning on your phone. pic.twitter.com/Z7mkLu6HMC
The thunderstorm alert will only be used when thunderstorm winds are expected in excess of 80 miles per hour and/or the storm contains at least baseball-sized hail.
Officials said residents should not expect a flood of new alerts on their phones. Since 2010, the weather service estimates that just two percent of the severe thunderstorm warnings issued in the area would have met the destructive criteria.