Spotter Minimum Reporting Criteria
Above all, safety comes first when spotting! If it is dangerous to be spotting, then seek shelter quickly. Use your spotter training to help make safe choices.
Most amateur radio operators are communicators by nature. While communication skills are great to have and practice, storm spotters must also have good observation, focus and self control skills to communicate effectively and timely. During severe weather NETs, we should strive to safely maximize the transmission of useful, relevant and accurate information for weather forecasters, emergency management and the public. At the same time, we must minimize unnecessary transmissions. Spotter observations and accurate, timely reporting are very important during severe weather events. The people listening to our reports are often, if not always, multitasking. The more they stop and listen to unnecessary transmissions, the more valuable time they may loose, or worse, they may miss a critical spotter transmission. During a severe weather NET, stay focused on the event and on storm spotting. There will always be time to discuss other topics and details after the event has passed.The criteria listed below help identify the most important observations of severe storms.
Minimum Severe Reporting Criteria. Refer to the spotterhandout.pdf
- All tornado, wall cloud, etc.
- Hail over 0.75 inch (penny coin) diameter. Report largest stone you see. Note: 1 inch (quarter coin) or larger is considered severe.
- Wind speeds and/or gusts greater than 58 mph. Estimates must include indicator details.
- Flooding that impacts roads or property.
- All notable damage generated from a storm. Trees, limbs and/or power lines downed, structural damage, etc.
Note: The NET Control Operator may change minimum reporting criteria at any time as deemed necessary.
You must include
- Who you are.
- What you observed. Give details and be specific, but brief.
- Where the event occurred. Be sure to note the difference between where you are and where the event is actually occurring.
- When it happened. Try to be precise.
Think about what you are reporting before you key the microphone.
What is NOT allowed
- No relay reports. First hand reports only!
- No lightning reports
- No "sky is clear" reports
- No "storm is getting stronger/weaker" reports
- No fog reports
- No radar based reports. We have radar, too
- No reports of what you are hearing on scanner / ham radio / TV
- No rain measurements unless you believe it constitutes flood conditions.
- No snow measurements unless you believe it constitutes a dangerous situation
- No general information like "storm is crossing the Georgia border"
- No troubleshooting of technical problems. Take this off the NET frequency to resolve.
- No announcements of non-event related activity.
- No asking if a NET is in progress. Practice listening for a few minutes. When a NET is active, the NET control station will usually transmit regularly, indicating a net is active. When a weather warning or watch is active, an active NET is likely.
- No deviating from minimum reporting criteria.
Last modified:Tuesday, 23-Mar-2021 at 23:58:17