SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - While all thunderstorms are dangerous, SEVERE thunderstorms bring the greatest risk to you and your home.
You've probably heard the term " severe thunderstorm" before, but do you know what makes a storm severe compared to a plain thunderstorm?
In order for a thunderstorm to be considered "severe", it must have one or more of the following; quarter sized hail or larger, winds greater than 58 miles per hour or contain a tornado.
Contrary to what many people believe, the occurrence of flooding or the frequency of lightning actually has nothing to do with whether a thunderstorm is considered severe.
So even though you may have heard the term before, severe thunderstorms are very serious. The best place to be in a storm is away from windows and inside your home.
In light of last June's tornado and July microburst, people told 22news their fear of bad weather has grown.
"I feel shifting in myself from the wonder at the weather, drifting towards the fear of the weather," said Lisa Foster of Longmeadow.
"You definitely hear at work and around, people are definitely expressing their concerns. Could this become something else?" said John Tomadakis of Westfield.
A severe thunderstorm "watch" means there's the possibility of severe storms, a warning means head inside and seek shelter.