National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

How to Report
There are a variety of ways to report weather to the NWS Pittsburgh office. You can use any/all of these to reach us. Below the contact info are the types of information we'd like you to report. Please be sure to include the location of the weather event, e.g. 5 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. You may also indicate if you are a trained spotter, a ham radio operator, a member of law enforcement, or other affiliation if applicable. 
 
 
⚠️Calling our Skywarn "800" number or Phone Recording Line is the best way to make urgent reports such as tornadoes currently on the ground.⚠️
 
⚡️While reports of trees down from wind are useful, please report power outages to your local utility provider. âš¡ï¸
 
📷Photos are helpful! Pics of damage, downed trees, flooding, snowfall/hail measurements, etc. can be sent to our facebook, twitter, or email accounts below. Be sure to include your location.📷
Submit Report Online
Use this Web Based Form: Submit Report
Skywarn™ "800" Number
Skywarn Spotters can use the "800" number here: 800-242-0510
Phone Recording Line
Call our phone recording line at 412-262-1988
CoCoRaHS
Report hail size, rain, and snow amounts through CoCoRaHS
 
Mobile App
Send reports from your location via a smartphone app: MPing
 

 

What We Need to Know:

T.E.L. Us!

Time - When did the (hail/flooding/rain/etc.) start and stop?

Event - What's occurring? How strong is the wind? How deep is the snow? How large is the hail?

Location - Your location such as a street address, nearest road intersection, distance from the nearest town, or a latitude/longitude. 
 

 

For severe storms:

  • Size of hail (if any) measured with a ruler, or compared to a common object. Please do not report "marble" sized (marbles come in many different sizes)
  • Wind speed if known, or any wind damage that has taken place
  • Funnel clouds (aloft) and tornadoes (in contact with the ground). Any damage? 

For winter weather:

  • Snow depth to the nearest inch, measured with a ruler in several spots to get an average
  • Ice, if any, and its thickness on outdoor objects such as tree branches. Measure with a ruler from the surface of the branch to the surface of the ice.
  • Road conditions

For flooding:

  • Are roads closed? Open but covered with water?
  • If water is on roads, how deep is the water? (Do not enter floodwaters -- just give an approximation)
  • If water is on roads, is the water flowing or standing still?
  • Are homes or businesses affected?
  • Are the floodwaters rising or receding?
  • Are the floodwaters the result of a stream that has overflowed, or because of poor drainage?
 
For more detailed hazard information, click on the tabs below. Thank you for your reports!
 

Tornado

Tornado: A violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm cloud to the ground. The Enhanced Fujita Tornado Intensity Scale is used to categorize tornadoes

Funnel Cloud: A condensation funnel extending from the base of a towering cumulus or cumulonimbus, associated with a rotating column of air that is not in contact with the ground (and hence different from a tornado). A condensation funnel is a tornado, not a funnel cloud, if either a) it is in contact with the ground or b) a debris cloud or dust whirl is visible beneath it.

What to Report:

  • Tornadoes or funnel clouds (be very wary of look-alikes; watch for rotation)
  • Wall clouds, especially if they are rotating
  • Damage from a tornado

Wind Damage

What kind of damage did the wind cause?

  • Small limbs down (less than 2" in diameter)
  • Large limbs/branches down (more than 2" in diameter)
  • Trees snapped or uprooted
  • Power lines down
  • Structural damage and/or Roof damage

Hail

What size hail did you see?

Click here for a printable hail size chart.

  • Pea Size: 0.25 inches
  • Small Marble: 0.50 inches
  • Penny: 0.75 inches 
  • Nickel: 0.88 inches
    Any hail size at or above a Quarter (1.00 inches) is severe thunderstorm criteria:
  • Quarter: 1.00 inches
  • Half Dollar: 1.25 inches
  • Ping Pong Ball: 1.50
  • Golf Ball: 1.75 inches
  • Hen Egg: 2.00 inches
  • Tennis Ball: 2.50 inches
  • Baseball: 2.75 inches
  • Grapefruit: 4.00 inches
  • Softball: 4.50 inches

Flooding

What kind of flooding was observed?

  • Minor street flooding
  • Low water crossings flooded
  • Widespread flooding
  • Home/Business flooded
  • Creek/Stream out of banks
  • River out of banks

Heavy Rain

  • How much rain fell, e.g. 1.50".
  • What period of time did the rain fall? (e.g. 1 hour 15 minutes.)
  • Was the rainfall measurement estimated or measured with equipment?

Snow Info

  • How much snow fell (to nearest tenth of an inch if possible), e.g. 3.5".
  • What period of time did the snow fall? (e.g. 1 hour 15 minutes.)
  • Was the snowfall measurement estimated or measured?

Freezing Rain/Icing

  • How much icing was observed (to nearest tenth of an inch if possible), e.g. 0.5".
  • What period of time did the ice accumulate? (e.g. 2 hours 30 minutes.)
  • Was the rainfall measurement estimated or measured?

Strong Winds

We are generally interested in wind speeds of 40-50 mph or higher. Here is some info on how to estimate wind speeds:

  • 39-54 mph: Twigs break off trees; wind generally impedes progress.

  • 55-72 mph: Damage to chimneys and TV antennas; pushes over shallow rooted trees.

  • 73-112 mph: Peels surfaces off roofs; windows broken; light mobile homes pushed or overturned; moving cars pushed off road.

Dense Fog

We are mainly interested in visibility reports of a half mile or less.