National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

How to Report Severe Weather

     Choose your method to report your severe weather to the National Weather Service Cleveland, OH



1. Submit:

icon for a formUse this Web Based (and mobile friendly) Form: Submit Report


2. Tag us on Twitter with your report using @NWSCLE and/or "Like" us  and post on our Facebook page.

Click to go to NWS CLE facebook page              click to reach NWS CLE on twitter


3. SKYWARN Spotters (refer to the phone number you received at your last training session)


Here are some reminders on how and what to report.  It is important to send your reports to us as soon as can be done safely.  If, after quality control,  we may include these reports in a Local Storm Report (LSR) product.  We appreciate your reports!!

what to include in a severe weather report


If you experience any of the following,Estimating Wind Speeds with Visual Clues

Please Report It!

Thunderstorm Criteria:

  • Tornadoes or funnel clouds (be very wary of look-alikes; watch for rotation)
    • Rotating appendage from a cumulonimbus cloud not touching the ground
  • Wall clouds, especially if they are rotating
    • Hail (Be specific with regard to size)
      • Report any size and specify diameter (see chart below).
      • Quarter-sized (1") and larger is severe!
  • Wind Gusts
    • 40 mph or greater; specify whether estimated or recorded
    • large branches downed (specify diameter of branch)
    • Trees/power lines downed
    • Structural damage to buildings (roof, windows, etc.)

Rainfall and Flooding:

  • Rainfall
    • 1 inch or greater in an hour and every inch thereafter   
    • 2 inches or greater storm total
  • Flooding
    • Report any flooding
    • Basement, road
    • Streams/Rivers -- also, when nearing bankfull
    • Street (depth of water)

Winter Criteria:

  • Snowfall
    • When (new) snow accumulation reaches 2 inches
    • Then at 4 inches, 6 inches, and every 3 inches thereafter (eg. 2,4,6,9,12,etc)
    • Give a final report/total at the end of the storm
    • Thunder Snow - time and location
  • Ice
    • Any occurrence, or accumulation, of freezing rain
    • Accumulation of 1/4" or more
  • Flooding
    • Report any flooding
    • Ice jams/snow melt
  • General Winter Reports
    • When forecast differs significantly from observed (i.e. snowing with no snow in forecast, sleet...when only snow is forecast...)
    • Any other significant weather occurrence(i.e. damage from strong winds not associated with a thunderstorm)

  Estimating Hail Size with Visual Clues

Hail Diameter Size (inches) Description (size)
1/4 to 3/8 pea
1/2 small marble
3/4  penny
7/8 nickel
1 quarter (severe thunderstorm warning threshold)
1.25 half dollar
1.5  ping pong ball / walnut
1.75 golf ball
2 lime
2.5 tennis ball
2.75 baseball
3 large apple
4 softball
4.5 grapefruit
4.75-5.00 computer CD/DVD

              The National Weather Service Weather Spotter Field Guide (2011) (26.5 MB)














how to measure snow