SKYWARN is the National Weather Service network of volunteer citizens, public service and emergency management people working to provide the National Weather Service (NWS) with first-hand weather spotting observations during severe weather events. Amateur Radio Operators comprise the backbone of many spotter networks through out the United States. In this area of the United States the primary severe weather threat comes from Severe Thunder Storms, Tornados and flooding from heavy rains. Amateur Radio Operators, or "Hams", participate not only as spotters but also provide the communications infrastructure to rapidly, reliably and accurately get severe weather reports into the hands of the NWS in order to expedite warnings being issued to the general public.
Tornadoes, funnel clouds, wall clouds, and persistent cloud rotation. Structural damage from tornadoes or severe wind gusts. Any trees uprooted or downed. Multiple large healthy limbs downed (at least 3" in diameter). Hail of 1/2" diameter or larger. Hail covering the ground. Do not report lightning.
1" or more of rainfall in one hour or less (measured). Flooding that results in evacuations or rescues. Cars or trailers carried away by flood waters. Water entering the main level of homes or businesses. Roads closed or impassable due to high water. Rapidly rushing water across roadways. More than one foot of water across roads. Small streams overflowing their banks.
1" or more of snow per hour. 1" or more of snow in the past 24 hours. When first measuring 2", 4", or 6" of snow. Storm total snowfall and snow depth. Any freezing rain or freezing drizzle. Any thunder or lightning associated with winter precipitation.
Skywarn® and the Skywarn® logo are registered trademarks of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, used with permission.