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What should I report?

The National Weather Service would like to know about these as soon as possible:


Organized, persistent, sustained rotation


Organized, persistent, sustained rotation


Dime size or larger

Report the largest size hailstone


50 mph or higher

Specify estimate or measurement


Flooding that impacts roads, homes or businesses.


Damage to structures (roof, siding, windows, etc)
Damage to vehicles (from hail or wind)
Trees or large limbs down
Power/telephone poles or lines down
Damage to farm equipment, machinery, etc


1″ or more per hour, accumulations of 2″ or more


Ice jams on rivers or streams

Again, reports should provide as much detail as possible to describe the where, when, how, etc of the event.

Some commonly used hail sizes Pea .25 inch Golf Ball 1.75 inch Half-inch .50 inch Hen Egg 2.00 inch Dime .75 inch Tennis Ball 2.50 inch Nickel .88 inch Baseball 2.75 inch Quarter 1.00 inch Tea Cup 3.00 inch Half Dollar 1.25 inch Grapefruit 4.00 inch Ping Pong Ball 1.50 inch Softball 4.50 inch

General Guidelines for Estimating Wind Speeds 30-44 mph (26-39 kt) Whole trees in motion. Inconvenient walking into the wind. Light-weight loose objects (e.g., lawn furniture) tossed or toppled. 45-57 mph (39-49 kt) Large trees bend; twigs, small limbs break and a few larger dead or weak branches may break. Old/weak structures (e.g., sheds, barns) may sustain minor damage (roof, doors). Buildings partially under construction may be damaged. A few loose shingles removed from houses. 58-74 mph (50-64 kt) Large limbs break; shallow rooted trees pushed over. Semi-trucks overturned. More significant damage to old/weak structures. Shingles, awnings removed from houses; damage to chimneys and antennas. 75-89 mph (65-77 kt) Widespread damage to trees with large limbs down or trees broken/uprooted. Mobile homes may be pushed off foundation or overturned. Roof may be partially peeled off industrial/commercial/ warehouse buildings. Some minor roof damage to homes. Weak structures (e.g., farm buildings, airplane hangars) may be severely damaged. 90+ mph (78+ kt) Many large trees broken and uprooted. Mobile homes damaged. Roofs partially peeled off homes and buildings. Moving automobiles pushed off the road. Barns, sheds demolished.

How Should I Report an Obervation?On your local Skywarn Amateur Radio Repeater, if you have one.

All U.P. Counties except Chippwewa and Mackinac (NWS Marquette)
Online Form
Toll Free Telephone: 1-800-828-8002

Chippewa and Mackinac Counties only (NWS Gaylord)
Toll Free telephone: 1-800-647-6876

-OR- informally… by using WX Spots Software

ALL reports should include the following information:

WHO are you? Report your ham callsign or spotter ID (or phone number, or any other means of identification) so the NWS can contact you to verify the report. Without this information, the NWS cannot use your report.
WHAT did you see?
WHERE did you see it? Report the location/approximate location of the event. Be sure to distinguish clearly between where you are and where the event is thought to be happening (.I.m 5 miles north of Mayberry. The tornado looks to be about 5 miles to my northwest.).
WHEN did you see it? Be sure that reports that are relayed through multiple sources carry the time of the event, NOT the report time.
Any other details that are important – How long did it last? Direction of travel? Was there damage? etc.

Daily Spotter and Co-Op Station Reports
Snowfall Totals using Google Earth or Static Graphics

Climatology from Weather Underground
Iron Mountain
Sault Ste. Marie


NOAA Spotter Training


NOAA Spotter Training

OnDemand Training

Emergency Coordinators and Local Media


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