SKYWARN Weather Reports
A severe thunderstorm is one with damaging WINDS (58 mph or greater) and/or large hail of 1 inch diameter (quarter size) or greater. It's also important to report weather conditions that are APPROACHING SEVERE criteria. This would include winds of 40 mph or greater and/or hail of 1/2 inches in diameter or greater (pea and dime size). When reporting damage, it's important to specify whether it's due to lightning strikes or strong winds.
Only report information that you have first hand knowledge of (not rumors). Include: What the event was, Where and When it occurred, any damage, and how we can reach you for more information. It's very important to clearly and calmly state this information. If you learn about storm damage a few days after the event, we still want to know about it. We also appreciate pictures of storms and storm damage.
Some of the weather phenomena that are really important to public safety are listed below. When you report these to the NWS, be brief and only report the significant weather. Your report could very well trigger the issuance of a warning.
Criteria to report include:
1. A TORNADO, Waterspout or Funnel Cloud
2. Dangerous or Severe Thunderstorms (strong damaging winds, very heavy rain or large hail)
3. Any Damaging Winds...(large tree limbs down or any structural damage)
4. Unusually frequent cloud to ground lightning... (any lightning damage)
5. Hail...specify the size, location, and time of occurrence
6. Heavy Rain...especially an inch or more in a short time (2 hours or less)
7. Actual FLOODING of any river or stream, due to heavy rain or ICE JAMS
8. Heavy snow...ongoing significant amounts and the total new snow after the storm is over
9. Ice storm or freezing rain...especially if un-forecasted or damage is occurring