National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
How to Report
There are a variety of ways to report weather to the NWS office in Charleston, WV.  By using the methods below, your severe weather reports will reach forecasters in real time.  Please be sure to include the location of the weather event, e.g. 5 miles northwest of Charleston.  You may also indicate if you are a trained spotter, a ham radio operator, a member of law enforcement, or other affiliation if applicable.
Submit Report
Use this Web Based Form: Submit Report
Spotter Hotline
Trained weather spotters can report significant weather conditions by calling the toll-free spotter hotline given to them as part of their training. 


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.

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

See also: Beaufort Wind Scale for estimating wind speeds.


What size hail did you see?

  • 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 inches
  • Golf Ball: 1.75 inches
  • Pool Ball: 2.00 inches
  • Tennis Ball: 2.50 inches
  • Baseball: 2.75 inches
  • Grapefruit: 4.00 inches
  • Softball: 4.50 inches

See also: Hail Size Comparison Chart


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

Your snowfall reports are extremely helpful to us as we monitor the progression of winter storms.  Intermediate reports during the storm help us know how well our forecast is performing and if there's updates needed.  Your report after the snow has ended is used by us for verification purposes and to help document the storm.  Here's what we need to know:

  • 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?
  • For more information on how to properly measure snow, visit

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.)
  • **IMPORTANT** Was the ice measurement radial (on a tree branch or wire) or flat? For more information on how to properly measure ice accretion, visit
  • Was the ice 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.



View Reports

Most reports we receive are transmitted as Local Storm Reports and can be viewed at the following locations.  Many reports are also stored in the official NOAA Storm Events database.

Local Storm Reports Rainfall Reports (CoCoRaHS) Snowfall Reports