Reporting Criteria

Each local Skywarn section uses slightly different reporting criteria. These reporting points are tailored to the specific needs of the local National Weather Service office.

The Cincinnati Section (WARN) requests that area spotters use these criteria duing severe weather nets.

1. Damaging winds – Generally 50 MPH or greater
2. Hail 1/2″ or larger or any size that covers the ground
3. Rain rates greater than 1 inch per hour – measured please!
4. Flooding – Any stream out of its banks or water covering a roadway
5. Wall cloud, tornado, funnel clouds

Measured winds, hail, and rainfall are much preferred to estimated. Estimating accurately can be difficult during severe weather.

We ask that reports be confined to these criteria. Other reports tie up the net frequency and really do not provide necessary information. Please do not report anything you have not seen personally. If it is on the Internet, TV, or radar, the National Weather Service already knows about it. Reports such as “It’s getting cloudy here” or “There is a lot of lightning” are not valid reports.

Occasionally, we will ask for reports that differ from the above criteria. When this occurs, it is OK to report what we request. Such special information requests are usually from the NWS to coordinate with their radar or other information they may have.