Not every thunderstorm is a severe thunderstorm. For a thunderstorm to be considered severe it has to have one of the following:

  1. Hail one inch in diameter or greater.
  2. Winds greater than 58 mph.
  3. Tornado.

If the criteria are met then the National Weather Service out of State College or Pittsburgh will issue the watch or warning for Central PA.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is issued in advance of a thunderstorm event. A severe thunderstorm watch means that the ingredients are present and a thunderstorm could turn severe at any time.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning means that a thunderstorm has produced one or more of the following criteria listed above.

A thunderstorm doesn’t have to be severe for them to be dangerous. Thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, damaging winds, and hail. If you come across a road that is covered underwater do not drive through it. You do not know the condition of the road.