Severe Weather Awareness Week runs from February 26th through March 4th in Arkansas. Today's topic is severe thunderstorms. So, what is a severe thunderstorm? It has winds of 58 mph or greater, and/or quarter size hail or larger. A tornado makes it severe as well. In 2016, straight-line wind gusts reached at least 75 mph almost two dozen times across the state. Hail reached at least baseball size a few times, especially on March 13th. This was the case near Jessieville (Garland County) and Mount Ida (Montgomery County). While storms can crank out a lot of lightning, this is not considered severe. Even small storms can produce lightning.