It's just a Twitter hashtag! What makes it unique is how it is used. The hashtag is intended for submitting hazardous weather reports via Twitter directly to us; the National Weather Service Office in Austin/San Antonio!
You've probably heard of our SKYWARN Spotter Training Program which allows citizens, first responders, emergency management, amateur radio operators, and volunteer organizations the opportunity to learn about severe weather preparedness, safety, and procedures for reporting severe weather to the local Austin/San Antonio National Weather Service Office.
The #eWXSpotter program takes the SKYWARN idea and applies it to Twitter! Instead of picking up the phone and calling the office as typical spotters do, "eWXSpotters" send us hazardous weather pictures or videos quickly and easily by simply tweeting to us using the #eWXSpotter hashtag!
They don't just send us just anything though! This hashtag is intended only for hazardous weather reports that we can quickly and easily find which can help us issue warnings and advisories. It's NOT for general weather tweets, forecast information, or asking questions about the weather. If you want to do that, simply tweet to @NWSSanAntonio.
To submit a report on the #eWXSpotter hashtag, remember to include the same three main things that a typical spotter report requires:
1. What is happening?
2. When did it occur?
3. Where did it occur?
The NWS Austin/San Antonio "County Warning Area"
Active #eWXSpotter Coordinators:
Travis County - @TravisCOSW
Bexar County - @BexarCOSW
#eWXSpotter coordinators are some of our most dedicated public servant, trained, weather spotters! These folks not only are interested in weather, they have committed themselves to public service by providing weather updates everyday and for every storm! They also moderate the #eWXSpotter hashtag and funnel reports they receive to the hashtag so the NWS can be aware of them.
If you are already following the @NWSSanAntonio Twitter feed, then you know we tweet warnings, watches, and advisories for 33 counties across South Central Texas. As a result, we may be tweeting about storms in Del Rio, but you are only really concerned with the Austin area.
That's where we lean on our coordinators. Each coordinator tweets NWS information for only the county they reside in. That enables them to provide you more specific information for where you live!
Coordinators are trained by NWS meteorologists to know how to identify hazardous weather radar signatures, interpret our products and services, and communicate those threats to you at the very local level. In addition, our coordinators are Weather Ready Nation Ambassadors, and have attended multiple SKYWARN Spotter Training sessions.