Click in the checkbox next to any weather event(s) you have
observed recently. Multiple boxes may be selected.
If the box for Hail is selected, a text box will appear for
entering the average size of the hailstones (in inches, ex. - .25).
If Snow is selected a value for New Snowfall must also be entered
in the Weather Elements Measured section.
If you have observed a weather event that is not listed, select the
Other box and enter a one or two word name for the type of event.
A longer description in the text descriptionbox is
If no weather events have been observed, leave this section blank.
The Weather Service is also interested in observations of events that
may not be strictly weather related. If you have observed something
interesting, select the appropriate checkbox.
If the type of event is not listed, select the Other box and enter
a one or two word name for the type of event. A longer description in
the text description box is highly encouraged.
Precipitation amounts are one of the most important pieces of
Spotter information the forecast office receives. They are critical
in forecasting and verifying flooding or heavy snow events.
Rain is reported to the nearest hundredth of an inch, for example -
0.03 or 3.65, or the nearest tenth of a centimeter. If all or part
of the precipitation fell as snow, this amount includes the
accumulated meltwater from the snow that fell in the gage.
New snowfall is reported to the nearest tenth of an inch, or to the
nearest centimeter. Snow on Ground is only measured to the
nearest inch (or centimeter) and is usually an average of readings
at several spots to account for drifting or melting.
It is also important to know the time period over which the
precipitation that is being reported occurred. Duration times can
either be reported in minutes, hours or days.
Wind reports are the other piece of Spotter information that is vital
for creating, updating and verifying forecasts, especially for marine
Winds are reported in whole numbers, either in miles per hour or
knots. Select a prevailing Wind Direction from the drop-down menu
and enter a value for the Wind Speed. If the winds are highly variable,
a value for the Peak Gust observed can be entered. It is also helpful
to know if the windspeeds were measured or were estimated by using,
for example, the Beaufort scale .
If an estimate of sea height was taken, it can be entered here also.
Temperatures are normally entered in whole degrees, or optionally in
tenths of a degree for the Centrigrade scale.
Maximum should be the highest temperature recorded, generally over
the past 24 hours, with Minumum being the lowest temperature over
the same period. Current is the recorded temperature at the time of
Everyone who has taken the National Weather Service Spotter training
receives a unique spotter number. The spotter number is actually two
numbers separated by a dash. The first part is the forecast zone that
the spotter lives in with the second number identifying a unique
person in that zone.
If you would like to send in a report and have not been give a spotter
number, more information needs to be entered for the information to
be fully utilized.
Location can be anything to help localize the spotter information;
geographic landmark, adress, latitude/longitude pair, etc.
Nearest City/Town, selected from the drop-down list, helps place the
spotter in the correct forecast zone, if no spotter number is entered.
The optional Name, Phone Number and/or Email help if the forecast
staff would like to contact you for more specific information.
Observer Profile is another piece of information to help the forecast
staff categorize the source of the observation.