Severe WX Reporting

Making a weather report isn’t too difficult, but one that is often done incorrectly, at least based on what the NWS in Greer has requested. We’ll take your report anyway you’ll give it to us, but it makes the process run smoother if you follow a few steps.

What is the reportable criteria?

  • Winds in excess of 56 mph
  • Damage caused by winds to trees, power lines and structures.
  • Hail, initially any size, then quarter size (1″) afterwards.
  • Tornado’s, Funnel Clouds, Wall Clouds or rotation in the clouds.
  • Flooding, where flooding does not normally occur

How to make your report to a Skywarn NCO

Identify your station by amateur call sign to the Net Control Station. Once Acknowledged and advised to proceed with your report:

  1. What are you reporting. Some examples: I have quarter size hail, or I have a large tree blown down by wind, tree size is 20″ around and healthy.
  2. Where are you located. The NWS in Greer, SC wants to pinpoint your location as best they can. The way they would like this information is: County, State, Closest City, Current Street & the Closest cross street. Example:  Gaston Co NC, I85 S @ Mile Marker 17
  3. Important Comments. This is a very vague section, as it’s use may or not be needed depending on the report being filed.
  4. Stay on the frequency if safe to do so. At times the NWS may ask for more information from Net Control on a report that has been made, and the Net Control Station may need to get further information from you.

An example:

What are you reporting Rotating Funnel Cloud. Where are you located.  In York County SC near Clover at Ridge Rd near Main St. Important Comments It’s moving NNE and I have been following it for 10 mins.  This would be a great example of where the NWS may have further questions to ask, esp since you have been observing for 10 mins. REMEMBER, we are STORM SPOTTERS,  NOT STORM CHASERS. Never put yourself in harms way.

Hail Report Chart

  • 0.25″ Pea Size
  • 0.50″ Dime Size
  • 0.88″ Nickle Size
  • 1.00″ Quarter Size
  • 1.25″ Half Dollar
  • 1.50″ Walnut Size
  • 1.75″ Golf Ball
  • 2.00″ Hen Egg
  • 2.50″ Tennis Ball
  • 2.75″ Base Ball

Wind Speed Eval Chart

  • 39-46 Mph Twigs break off trees, impedes walking
  • 47-54 Mph Branches break off dead trees
  • 55-63 Mph Slight structural  damage (Chimneys and shingles), Branches break off healthy trees, trees may be uprooted
  • 64-72 Mph Large branches broken off, trees with leaves uprooted, structural damage is mainly to roofs
  • 73+ Mph Damage to structures is major and widespread, many roofs and windows damaged


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