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Reporting Criteria Overview

When Reporting to MidWest Severe Storm Tracking/Response Center – MidWest Members and Non-Members please review the following:

WHO - WHAT - WHEN - WHERE

Who

(who Observed the Meteorological / Hydrological Event)

When reporting via the MidWest Severe Storm Tracking/Response Center Radio Net (444.375) on Amateur Radio, please use your MidWest Number followed by your Call Sign. Non-Members, please use your Call Sign.

When reporting via the MidWest Facebook page, Twitter, email, please use your MidWest Number and full name and contact info. (we may have need for a follow up). Nonmembers please indicate if you are a “Trained Spotter” and include your contact info. PLEASE NOTE… Social Media should not be used to report Severe Criteria. (see report criteria section)

Example:
MidWest 107
"KC9GQS"

Non MidWest members, please use your Call Sign when using our radio net/s. Include your name and contact info when using social media or email reports. Members and Non-Members are welcome to check-into our active radio nets.

The MidWest SSTRC, Inc. Net Controller may restrict net traffic at any time that is deemed necessary.
Example: “the MidWest SSTRC is now in Condition Red and are accepting only Severe Criteria reports unless otherwise noted”. (See Activation Levels )

What

(the Meteorological / Hydrological Event Observed)

"What" is to be provided as one of the items listed on the *Criteria Page using the routing directions indicated on that page. The only exceptions allowed are cases when MidWest requests information not on the Criteria Page, or requests re-routing of non-severe criteria as needed.

Example for All Aloft Conditions (Items 1 through 3 on * Criteria):
"Funnel Cloud, Looking North-Northeast"

Example for All Other Conditions (Items 4 through 13 on Criteria):
"1-1/4” (spoken as “one and one-quarter inch”) Measured Hail"

When

(When Did the Meteorological / Hydrological Event Occur, or Is It Currently Happening?)

"When" the event happened (NOT the time of filing or creation of the report) is to be provided in 12-hour format, like one would see on a standard wristwatch. Using “Current Time” is not acceptable.

Example:
6:05pm"

Where

(Where did the Meteorological / Hydrological Event Happen, or Where is it Happening?)

**IMPORTANT NOTE**

Aloft Condition locations (Items 1 through 3 on the Criteria page) will most likely NOT be at the same location as the observer.

For aloft events, provide the general direction that the spotter is looking using the **16-point compass format after the “What” provided.

NOTE: Ground event (Items 4 through 13 on the Criteria page) location should be the observer’s location.

See the examples shown in the “What” section above.

“Where” the event happened (or is happening) must be provided one of three ways:

  1. Street Address and City/Town.

    Examples:

    • N7409 Mariner Hills Circle, Elkhorn would be said as: “North Seven Four Zero Nine Mariner Hills Circle, Elkhorn”
    • 3827 N 74th Street, Milwaukee would be said as: “Three Eight Two Seven North Seven Four Street, Milwaukee”
    • W342 N23476 Lakeview Drive, Big Bend would be said as: “West Three Four Two, North Two Three Four Seven Six Lakeview Drive, Big Bend”

  2. As measured Latitude/Longitude coordinates. If provided, Lat/Long coordinates for event location must follow these standards as set by the Served Agency:
    • Decimal degree format (dd.ddd) must be used.
    • Accuracy level must be three digits to the right of the decimal point.
    • Map Datum reference used must be WGS84
    • Provide only the numeric components of the location. The “North” component of the Latitude and the “West” component of the Longitude is implied.
    • Say all numeric elements of the location one digit at a time with a very short pause between the latitude and longitude components.

    Example:
    42.583N 88.443W would be said as: “four two point five eight three, eight eight point four four three.”

  3. As a Distance and Direction from a Major Intersection and County

    Example:
    Physical Location, i.e. Address

    Example:
    “3.5 (said as “three point five”) North I-43 and County Road C, Ozaukee”

  4. As a distance (to the closest 1/10 mile, if possible) and direction using the **16-point compass format (North-Northeast, South-Southwest, etc.) from a valid reference, followed by the county.

Reportable Weather Conditions (Criteria)

Spotters are requested to report all conditions using the guidance provided below.

Severe Criteria and Pro-words (In order of priority)

  1. Tornado (Waterspout if event is known to be on a body of water)

    Include the general direction that spotter is looking using the **16-point compass format (North-Northeast, South-Southwest, etc.) in addition to the spotter’s location.

  2. Funnel Cloud

    Include the general direction that spotter is looking using the **16-point compass format (North-Northeast, South-Southwest, etc.) in addition to the spotter’s location.

  3. Rotating Wall Cloud

    Confirm that it is rotating

    Include the general direction that spotter is looking using the **16-point compass format (North-Northeast, South-Southwest, etc.) in addition to the spotter’s location

  4. Severe Damage
    • Tree branches greater than 3” dia. snapped, trees uprooted
    • Any structural damage to buildings (includes roof damage)
    • Bent, snapped or collapsed light poles or traffic lights
    • Downed power lines
    • Crop damage
    • Cave-ins and mud slides
    • Sink holes
  5. Severe Winds

    58MPH OR HIGHER

    Indicate if speed is measured or estimated, but measured is always preferred

  6. Severe Hail

    1 INCH OR GREATER (in numeric values only)

    Indicate if hail size is measured or estimated, but measured is always preferred

  7. Severe Flooding
    • Water over river banks or dams
    • Roads, bridges, or railroads washed out
    • Impassable or closed roads
    • Water out of banks that causes property damage

    Flash Floods: A FLASH FLOOD is an event that occurs WITHIN 6 hours following the END of the causative event (such as rains, ice jams, or dam breaks) which result in fatalities, injuries, and/or significant damage to property. Examples of Flash Floods include damage to buildings, roads, gravel shoulders, bridges, railways or other landscape features including soil erosion. Generally, flash flooding events develop rapidly and can occur anywhere water collects, especially areas of steep terrain, and water runoffs. Flash Floods rarely last more than 12 hours.

    Floods: A FLOOD is an event that occurs AFTER 6 hours following the END of the causative event (rains, ice jam, dam breaks) which result in fatalities, injuries, and/or significant damage to property. Examples of Floods include damage to buildings, roads, gravel shoulders, bridges, railways or other landscape features including soil erosion. Generally, flooding events usually take longer to develop and they usually occur along or near larger rivers. The duration of flooding events may extend longer than 24 hours, perhaps several days.

Minor Criteria, Pro-Words and Method of Reporting (In Order of Priority)

When “All Valid Criteria” is Specified on by MidWest Net Control and or other means.

Reports are Submitted via Voice on the MidWest Radio Net Using the Tools and Methods Specified, OR

When “Severe Criteria Only” is Specified on the MidWest Radio Net reports are submitted via Standard Social Media Tools and methods specified (preference is in the order shown)

  1. Minor Hail

    3/4 INCH TO 7/8 INCH (in numeric values only)

    Indicate if hail size is measured or estimated, but measured is always preferred. Anything less than 3/4 inch should not be reported unless asked to do so by Net Control

  2. Minor Damage
    • Any cosmetic damage to buildings & vehicles
    • Tree branches less than 3” dia. snapped causing power line damage or cosmetic damage to buildings & vehicles
  3. Minor Flooding
    • Non-life-threatening / non-damaging water over curb
    • Water out of banks but confined to low lands and bottom lands (not impacting buildings)
    • Water on the roads
  4. Visibility

    Less than 1/2 mile

    Indicate if due to precipitation, fog, blowing dirt or smoke

  5. Rainfall

    Measured amounts equal to or exceeding the rate of 1/4" per 15 minutes measured over at least 15 minutes (i. e., a measured rate greater than 1" per hour). If possible, indicate the start time and the end time of the measurement period (i.e., “measured between 11:05am and 11:25am”).

  6. Minor Winds

    40 mph to 57 mph

    Indicate if speed is measured or estimated, but measured is always preferred. Anything less than 40 mph should not be reported unless asked to do so by Sullivan Weather

**16-point compass format

Reporting Methods