Thunderstorms occur throughout the entire year in north Georgia, but become more frequent in the Spring and Summer months with more heating, which provide fuel for storms.

Storm vs. severe storm

The difference between a typical, afternoon storm and a severe storm is how the storm could impact you. A storm is considered severe if it's strong enough to cause you harm or damage your property.

A storm is severe when one of two things occur:

  • Winds of at least 58 mph
  • Quarter-sized hail

If either of the above occurs, a severe thunderstorm warning will be issued for your area.

Watch vs. warning

A severe thunderstorm watch means that severe thunderstorms are possible in the future, and are usually issued hours in advance of severe storms actually occurring. A watch is issued to give you plenty of notice that severe weather may impact your day.

A severe thunderstorm warning means that a severe thunderstorm is actually occurring in your area, and to take action immediately. When a warning is issued, we will tell you why the warning was issued -- for 58 mph winds, quarter-sized hail or both.

Lightning vs. severe storm

Lightning is actually not a criteria for severe thunderstorms. While lightning is obviously dangerous, it's not considered when a severe thunderstorm warning is issued.

Severe thunderstorm safety

If you're ever under a severe thunderstorm warning, stay indoors, watch CBS46 and follow updates on the CBS46 app.

Most severe thunderstorm warnings are issued in north Georgia due to storms capable of producing damaging winds that bring down trees. Occasionally, a severe thunderstorm warning will be issued for hail that could cause damage to your vehicle.

Severe Weather Awareness Week

Feb. 1-5 is Severe Weather Awareness week in north Georgia, which is when we highlight how you can prepare for severe storms.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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