National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


2023 Virtual Spring Preparedness Webinar Schedule

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Springfield, Missouri will be offering three virtual Spring Preparedness Webinars this March! One will be conducted via Facebook Live, and two will be using GoToWebinar. Everyone is welcome to join!

Date Time Registration Link
March 10, 2023 7:00pm - 8:00pm Join our Facebook Live!
March 25, 2023 2:00pm - 3:00pm Click Here
March 30, 2023 11:00am - 12:00pm Click Here


Follow NWS Springfield for any updates to scheduling in the event active weather or other conflicts result in postponement.


Presentation Details

  • Multimedia presentation containing information about identifying and reporting severe weather, safety and preparedness, severe weather climatology in Missouri and Kansas, thunderstorm structure and threats, and more!
  • Runs 60 to 75 minutes in length, is open to the public, and free of charge. Register using the links above on the schedule.
  • Instructors are NWS Meteorologists - Questions are encouraged and welcome!


Reporting Basics

  • WHO are you? 

    • Public, Law enforcement, Emergency management, etc.

  • WHAT occurred?

  • WHEN was it?

  • WHERE was it?

  • Use proper terms (Wall cloud, funnel cloud, etc)

    DO NOT EXAGGERATE – Lives are at risk!

    How confident are you? (Wall, Funnel Cloud, Tornado)

    Location should be address/lat-lon/intersection (Can be estimated miles from city)

    Follow up, if necessary.


Reporting Information



What to Report?




  • Distance & direction from your location
  • Movement (tornado direction & speed)
  • Impacts: Damage, injuries, or deaths
  • Tornado Behavior: Growing larger? Roping out?

Wall Clouds & Funnel Clouds

  • Wall cloud: Rotating? Persistent?
  • Funnel Cloud: How far to the ground
  • Visible rotation with the funnel?
  • Dust or debris below the funnel?
    (if so, you have a tornado!)


  • Diameter of the largest hailstone (estimated or measured)
  • DO NOT report marble-sized hail!! Marbles vary widely in size
  • Damage to windows, cars, crops, etc.
Hail Size Inches
 Pea 1/4
 Dime 1/2
 Penny 3/4
 Nickel 7/8
 Quarter 1
 Half Dollar 1 1/4
 Ping Pong Ball 1 1/2
 Golf Ball 1 3/4
 Hen Egg 2
 Tennis Ball 2 1/2
 Baseball 2 3/4
 Softball 4
 Grapefruit 4 1/2

Damaging Winds

  • Wind speed (estimated or measured)
  • Damage to trees, power lines, and structures
  • Trees: Diameter of limbs snapped off and health of tree (old or rotten?)
Designation Description
<1 Calm Smoke rises vertically
1-3 Light air Smoke drift indicates wind direction
4-7 Light breeze Weather vane moves, leaves rustle
8-12 Light breeze Leaves and twigs in constant motion
13-18 Mod breeze Dust raised, small branches move
19-24 Fresh breeze Small trees sway
25-31 Strong breeze Large branches move
32-38 Moderate gale Whole trees move, walking affected
39-46 Fresh gale Twigs break off trees, walking difficult
47-54 Strong gale Minor structural damage
55-63 Whole gale Large tree branches break
64-74 Storm  Widespread damage

Flash Flooding & Heavy Rain

  • Flood Impacts: Roads, houses, etc.
  • Depth of the water (estimated--use references such as cars or buildings)
  • Is the water moving swiftly or slowly?
  • Damage: Roads washed out, etc.
  • Rainfall amounts & how quickly it fell

Snow & Ice


  • Amount: (measured or estimated) Take multiple measurements and average them if possible.
  • Damage or impacts such as downed power lines, snapped tree limbs, cars off the road, etc.




Missouri and Kansas Spotter Networks