What Makes for a Severe Storm Warning?

It has been a while since North Texans have seen severe weather in the area.

The Storm Prediction Center has placed areas of North Texas under a risk for severe weather Tuesday evening. A cold front and dry line will merge, triggering storms.

What is a severe storm, and what are watches and warnings? To outline the risk, a scale of 1-5 is used:

  1. Marginal
  2. Slight
  3. Enhanced
  4. Moderate
  5. High

These values are based on the probability of a severe weather outbreak.

What classifies a storm as severe? A severe thunderstorm must contain at least one of the following:

  • Hail larger than one inch in diameter
  • Winds gusting over 58 mph
  • Tornado

Watches or warnings may be issued Tuesday. Remember, there are big differences between the two.


Conditions are favorable for severe storm development. During a watch you need to watch and prepare for the weather.


Severe storm has been reported or detected on radar. During a warning is when you need to take action.

The NBC 5 Weather Experts will have you covered on air, on line & through social media. You can also download the NBC DFW App for automatic notifications for weather alerts in your area.

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