[NEW CRITERIA PLACES LOWER LIMIT OF 1" FOR SEVERE HAIL]
All Central Region NWS offices will now adopt the new cirteria for severe hail. According to the multi-media report posted on the Northern Indiana NWS site, the new lower limit for severe hail will be 1". This is due to an extended study in KS that showed that true property damage only occurs when a 1" size is reached, versus the traidtional 3/4" size. Support for this has been wide as issuing warnings for marginal severe hail events often lead to no damage, and makes the public less likely to accurately respond to a true severe hail event.
As said, this is taking effect at NWS offices that fall under the Central Regions jurisdiction. This area is hail prone, so the change is taking affect in the coming weeks.
Im not sure if it will be implemented in the Southern Regions NWS offices because these areas too get hail, sometimes often. As of now, it just looks to be directed toward those offices in the plains and upper mid-west.