South-Central Wisconsin SKYWARN

SEVERE WEATHER REPORTING PROCEDURE

  1. Unless otherwise indicated by the National Weather Service, ONLY the events meeting the following criteria are reportable during an active net:
  2. Event
    Report
    1.  Tornado on the ground (or waterspout over water) "Tornado"
    2.  Funnel cloud aloft and rotating "Funnel cloud" 
    3.  Wall cloud (indicate if rotating) "Wall cloud" 
    4.  Heavy damage (parked vehicles blown over, windows blown in by wind--not debris, buildings flattened, groves of large trees down--more than just a few) "Damage"
    5.  Winds 50 mph or higher (indicate if measured or estimated)  "Winds" 
    6.  Large hail, 1/2 inch diameter or larger (indicate if measured or estimated) "Hail"
    7.  Flooding/Flash flooding (major structural damage, evacuations, water out of river banks, roads or bridges washed out) "Flooding"
     (The following non-severe criteria can to be relayed to NWS using digital modes or voice) 
    8.  Small hail, less than 1/2 inch diameter (indicate if measured or estimated) "Hail"
    9.  Minor damage (to buildings, trees, roads, or power lines) "Damage"
    10. Minor/inconvenient urban and small stream flooding (water on roads or over curb, some water out of banks) "Flooding"
    11. Visibility less than 1/2 mile (due to precipitation or blowing dirt) "Visibility"
    12. Heavy rain (rates of at least 1 inch per hour, for at least 15 minutes) "Heavy rain"
    13. Winds 40-49 mph (indicate if measured or estimated) "Winds" 

     
  3. Message format for reporting severe weather:
    1. Time of occurrence (12-hour "kitchen clock" time, not military or zulu time)
    2. Exact location: County, City (or distance and direction from nearest city), Intersection (if applicable)
    3. Severe weather event from (A) above (estimated wind speeds must be based on observed events, such as limbs breaking off trees)
    4. Amateur station originating report if relayed

     
  4. Reporting procedure:
    1. Call the Net Control Station and use one of the twelve criteria to indicate a valid report.
    2. NCS will indicate "(call sign) GO AHEAD."
    3. Give your report slowly (at dictation speed) using message format in (B) above.
    4. NCS will acknowledge by saying "ROGER."
    5. Relay station may also "ROGER."
    Example:
    Spotter:  "KILO GOLF 9 XRAY YANKEE ZULU, HAIL." 
    NCS:  "KG9XYZ, GO AHEAD."
    Spotter:  "AT 4:35...EASTERN IOWA COUNTY...2 MILES WEST OF BARNEVELD...HIGHWAYS 18 AND T - TANGO...ESTIMATED 1/2 INCH HAIL." 
    NCS: "ROGER, W9HMY, NET CONTROL."
    Spotter:  "KG9XYZ."
    Relay: "3-1-5 RELAY, ROGER. N9NTB."

     
  5. Follow-up message:
    1. Call the NCS using the word "FOLLOW-UP."
    2. Start the message with: "REFERENCE THE REPORT OF (event) , WHICH OCCURRED AT (time)," and continue with new information.

    3.  
  6. Keep the frequency clear. Do not transmit unless:
    1. You have a valid report from (A) above, or
    2. You are called by the NCS.

    3.  
  7. Note that lower priority items should wait if the frequency is busy with more important traffic.

  8.  
  9. The TIME is the time that the event occurred, not the time of your report.

  10.  
  11. The order of giving your location is important.  Describe your location starting broadly with your county and becoming more specific.  A meteorologist has to find you on a map.

  12.  
  13. Say whether your wind speed, hail size, or rainfall observations are MEASURED or ESTIMATED.

  14.  
  15. Do not report information heard over police/fire frequencies or the broadcast media to the net.

  16.  
  17. Do not ask for information.  The Sullivan relay station will transmit frequent status updates to the net.


More indepth information available on The Sullivan Committee's web site - http://http://www.sulcom.org//.

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Revised April 7, 2007