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Skywarn LogoOverview

See this NWS Skywarn page.

Skywarn Severe Weather Spotter Training

New! Online Skywarn Spotter Training course - see the signup page and the QRZ article about it.

NWS no longer maintains a table of upcoming spotter training on the web, but asks you to contact them for upcoming classes. See NWS Contacts.

Event Description
Tornado: What...Tornado:
Is it rotating ? If not, it's a rain shaft.
Is it in contact with the ground ?
If Not, it's a Funnel Cloud.
Is there on going damaging?
When....Now ? Past ? Beginning?
Where... Location ?
Funnel Cloud: What.....Funnel Cloud: Is it rotating?
Is it in contact with the ground? If so, it's a Tornado.
When....Now? Past? Just Beginning?
Where... Location?
Wall Cloud: When.....Now? Just Beginning?
How long observed?
Is it rotating?
Where... Location?
Severe Winds: What......Damage...
What type and kind of severe wind damage ?
Use the Beaufort Wind Speed Chart
When.....Now ? Past ? Just Beginning ?
Where.... Location ?
General Examples of Severe Wind Damage:
Power lines blown down
Windows broken by wind
Permanent signs blown down
Radio tower/large antenna blown down
Mobile home damaged
Large roof area damaged
Structure damage to buildings by winds
More than one large tree blown over
Hail: Do not use "Marble" size
When.....Now - on going event ?
Where.... Location ?
What Size...How Large...
Pea..............1/4 inch.
Dime............3/4 inch.
Nickel...........7/8 inch.
Golf ball.......1 inch
Quarter........ 1 inch.
Baseball.......2 1/4 inch.
Softball.........3 to 4 inch
And if in Western and Northern Texas...cantaloupe...basketball
Flash Flooding: What..... How Deep ? How Extensive?
Are the animals walking two by two??
Is there a immediate threat to persons or property?
When....On Going? Just Beginning?
Where... Location?
Rain: When............Now ? Just Beginning?
Is it so heavy, you can't drive?
Where........... Location?
How Much.....At a rate of 2 inches per hour?

Estimating Hail Size(NWS)

Hail Diameter Description
1/4" Pea Size
1/2" Marble Size (say "half-inch")
3/4" (Severe Criteria) Dime Size
7/8" Nickel Size
1" Quarter Size
1 1/4" Half Dollar Size
1 1/2" Walnut or Ping Pong Ball Size
1 3/4" Golf Ball Size
2" Hen Egg Size
2 1/2" Tennis Ball Size
2 3/4" Baseball Size
3" Teacup Size
4" Grapefruit Size
4 1/2" Softball Size

Estimating Wind Speeds

Wind Speed Effects
25-31 Large branches in motion; whistling heard in telephone wires
32-38 Whole trees in motion; inconvenience felt walking against the wind
39-54 Twigs break off trees; wind generally impedes progress
55-72 Damage to chimneys and TV antennas; pushes over shallow rooted trees
73-112 Peels surfaces off roofs; windows broken; light mobile homes pushed or overturned; moving cars pushed off road
113-157 Roofs torn off houses; cars lifted off ground
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