The NWS in Lincoln, as well as other NWS offices in the Central Region of the United States, will be issuing a new alert for strong thunderstorms this year. A SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ALERT will be issued for thunderstorms that are expected to produce:
This new product is intended to alert the public that strong thunderstorms are anticipated, but they are not expected to produce severe wind, widespread damage or large hail. The Significant Weather Alert will be disseminated using the NWS product header - Special Weather Statement (SPSILX).
If you are in an area impacted by a Significant Weather Alert, you can expect gusty wind around 50 mph, small hail, heavy rain and lightning. Keep in mind that a wind around 50 mph can cause small tree limbs to break or light objects, like patio furniture or trampolines to be blown around. Monitor the weather situation in case the storms intensify, and your location is upgraded to a Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Warning.
A Severe Thunderstorm Warning will be issued for thunderstorms expected to produce wind gusts of 58 mph (50 knots) or greater, wind damage, and/or hail one inch in diameter (the size of quarter) or larger.
Below is an example of a Significant Weather Alert:
WWUS83 KILX 240144
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LINCOLN IL
844 PM CDT THU APR 23 2009