Remember this phone number! It serves as a link to our most important source of information during severe weather...YOU!
Tornadoes, hail, strong winds, flooding...the National Weather Service is responsible for issuing warnings for many types of severe weather. We have many tools to help us anticipate and warn for these hazards. However, ground truth reports of actual weather events always have, and always will, depend on reports from human observers. Of course, we need a way to efficiently handle severe weather reports during the hustle and bustle of dealing with rapidly changing conditions. That is where our POP (Public Observation Program) computer comes in.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are a trained Skywarn spotter, please use the toll-free number given to you at your training session. The POP is more appropriate for use by the general public.
In case you forgot...the phone number is 1-877-633-6772
When you call (using a touch-tone phone only, please!), you will be connected to the POP computer. The computer will then ask you a series of questions. These questions are meant to identify the type and severity of weather which you are reporting. When your call is completed, the POP computer will alert the staff to the presence of a new report. Assuming that there are no problems, your report will then be sent out to the world...and may be heard on NOAA Weather Radio, local radio and TV stations, and who knows, maybe even the Weather Channel!
One important note...the computer will ask you to input your phone number when you make a report. It is very important that we have a way to verify the report and call you for additional information if necessary. We will NEVER call you for any purpose other than to verify a report. Also, your phone number and any other personal information will NEVER leave this office. We realize the importance of your privacy!
Did I forget to mention?...that phone number is 1-877-633-6772
We would like you to call, when it is safe to do so, if you observe any of the following:
Tornado or funnel cloud
Strong winds (55-60 MPH or greater) or wind damage (structural damage or trees/power lines down)
Hail the size of pennies (3/4 inch diameter) or larger
Stream flooding, street flooding, or streams approaching bankfull
Snowfall of 3 inches or more
So next time the weather is really nasty...give us a call and let us know!
Once more...that phone number is 1-877-633-6772