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Associated Press, Published March 04 2009

Fewer thunderstorm warnings expected after revision to criteria

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakotans likely will hear fewer thunderstorm warnings this spring and summer.

National Weather Service offices are changing their criteria for putting out warnings based on the size of hail.

Bismarck meteorologist J.P. Martin says warnings will be issued for hail an inch or larger in diameter, instead of the current three-quarter inch size. He says Kansas was the testing ground for the revision. It takes effect in April.

Martin says wind speeds of 58 mph or higher still prompt severe thunderstorm warnings, whether the storms include hail or not.

He says some people have described warnings for three-quarter-inch hail as “crying wolf.”

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