Report format

Who,What, When, Where


This format was developed to be efficient and to the point so that all reports are delivered in the same way and have all the necessary information needed by the National Weather Service to log received reports immediately.

Who: The person observing the event.  (Your name, amateur radio callsign, or spotter number)
What: Is what the spotter observed. Valid criteria guidelines need to be used.
When: The time you observed the event using standard AM or PM time. If the event spans a period of time, include the start time and duration. 
Where: Is your location using a home/business address, GPS coordinates followed by the nearest city, Distance and direction from nearest Major Intersection or city center reference point.

The following are examples of how a storm report would be given:

Use a nearby home/business address:
Your I.D, , mulitple electrical lines down across roadway, 7:08 pm, N3571 Cardinal Dr. Elkhorn, Walworth County

Using GPS decimal degree format:  (use numbers to three places after the decimal point)
Your I.D.,  72 mph wind measured, 4:50 pm,  42.716  88.535, Elkhorn.

Distance and direction from a major intersection including the county.
Your I.D., funnel cloud looking NW, 5:42 pm, 1 mile NW of I-43 and State Hwy 14.

Using city reference points: 
Your I.D., 1 3/4" hail estimated, 6:05 am, 4 miles north Elkhorn, Walworth County.


Click here for a handy reporting sheet! It's the same one they use at the Communications Desk at the Weather office. 


*Always remember that SAFETY is your first priority!*
If you find yourself in harms way, get to safety first!! Your report can get made once you are in the clear.


For a full list of reference cities by county, click on the link below.


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