the Baltimore-Washington Forecast Office
To report by PHONE, dial 1-800-253-7091 x1.
To report via email, click HERE.
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. To report via
Facebook, post on our page at www.facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.BaltimoreWashington.gov
for more information about how to take snowfall measurements.
Call or email if snow is falling and accumulating,
but not in the forecast...Or...the snowfall depth has exceeded what is
currently forecasted by our office.
Call or email when 4 inches of snow has fallen.
(However, reports are never turned down).
Most Important! Call or e-mail your
final snowfall total. This data is critical for proper documentation
of the event. Please do not embelish your total snowfall...accuracy is
very important to us.
If you are receiving heavy snow, greater
than 4 inches, Call or email when you feel it is an appropriate time to give us
Know the difference
Changing Weather and Other Unusual Winter Phenomena
When to Call or email
is frozen rain or ice pellets. When it strikes the ground, it usually bounces.
Sleet can accumulate like snow and cause slick roads. In February 1994,
some areas reported 4 to 7 inches of sleet!
is rain that freezes after it strikes a cold surface such as a tree, a
sidewalk, or a car. It forms a sheet of ice and is extremely dangerous.
When measuring ice,
measure the thickness of the glaze on trees or wires. Report what is on
the ground separately since it might be a mixture of snow, sleet, and ice
or a different thickness due to surface temperature differences.
ex. Ice might be accumulating on trees and wires but the pavement is just
wet because it was warmer and above 32°F. On the other hand, there
are times that the pavement is colder and slick spots are forming on the
road, but above the ground at tree level, the temperature is above 32°F
and no ice is forming. Please tell us as much as you can.
Call or email when a glaze of ice begins
to accumulate on trees and wires, or on roadways and walkways. Ice is extremely
hazardous and sensitive to your local temperature. Reporting ice might
save a life.
Call or email when ice accumulates a half an
inch or more on trees and wire. At this point, the weight of the ice may
be enough to bring down tree limbs and utility lines.
Contact us (if still possible) when
ice reaches one inch thick.
Call or email or e-mail your ice total, final
thickness of the ice, on the trees.
It is hard to define all
the right times to Call or email the National Weather Service with a report. You
are often the best judge since you know what is normal and what is very
usual for your area. Below is a list of a few things that our office is
to View Spotter Data during or after an Event
If you notice the weather is differing
greatly from the forecast.
If, for instance, the forecast is Call or emailing
for flurries, but you now have a few inches on the ground, or instead of
rain, it is now sleeting out. In the rural areas, we have very little "ground-truth"
data that tells us what precipitation type is falling or what is happening
on the ground.
If the temperature falls below zero
and you know what your minimum temperature was.
If you have an anemometer (measures
wind speed) and it gusts to 50 mph or higher
If high winds cause any damage such
as trees or wires down, or damage to structures.
If it is snowing and you see lightning
or hear thunder.
If it is snowing and the wind is gusting
to 35 mph causing white out conditions.
If heavy drifting of snow is occurring
and you can tell us the depth of the drifts.
The information that you
provide is often used in Special Weather Statements, updates to warnings
and advisories, and broadcast over NOAA Weather Radio and SKYWARN® Amateur
radio networks. However, summary information such as unusually cold temperatures,
snowfall or ice amounts, high winds reports, etc. is posted in the "Public
Information Statement". For historical data, look on our local historical
events site or archives and you can get Storm Data from the National
Climatic Data Center.