...Weather Reporting on Twitter...

…Tweet Your Weather Reports …

Is hail falling at your house? Is that creek down the street flooding the road? Has it snowed so much you can’t find your car? Tweet us and let us know!

Many media outlets, celebrities, politicians, local governments, and even that guy next door have been using something called Twitter to keep others posted about what is going on in our world. So, the National Weather Service has started a testing phase to assess the potential for Twitter as a public weather reporting tool.  During bad weather, reports of what is happening in your area can help forecasters make important decisions about warnings and Twitter might just provide us with an easier way of getting some of those reports. A number of offices across the country, including the Springfield Weather Forecast Office, will be monitoring a specialized search page during significant weather events that will show weather reports posted on Twitter.

An advantage of searching Twitter for weather reports is the capability to utilize recently added "geotagging" -- geographical information that is associated with something, in this case individual Tweets.  This allows the NWS to correlate each Tweet to its location when it was sent.  This capability will help to enhance and increase timely and accurate online weather reporting and communication between the public and their local weather forecast offices.  The reports will be carefully evaluated during the experiment to ensure quality and timeliness.

How can you get involved? Check out the link below for information on how to post your weather reports on Twitter (we can only get reports if they are formatted properly).  Updates and new information about this continually developing program will be posted to the Springfield office ‘Top News of the Day.’

How to report weather on Twitter:

Check out this page with more information on how to format your weather report Tweet.

What to report:

                While any reports about the current weather can be nice, certain types of reports will be more helpful to our meteorologists. Below is a list of guidelines for what to report. Send us text and photos if you can! Try to be as specific as possible about when and where the event is happening. If you’d like to learn more about weather reporting and spotting, check out one of our upcoming Spotter Talks and become an official SkyWarn Spotter.

HAIL: Tweet the size of hail, whether you measured it or you estimated the size, and the time it fell. Use the chart below as a guide for measuring hail stones - DO NOT TWEET THAT HAIL IS MARBLE SIZED! Marbles come in different sizes, from pee-wee to shooter, so marble reports don’t really help.

Hail Diameter Size

Description
1/4”
Pea size
1/2"
Mothball size
3/4"
Penny size
7/8”
Nickel size
1”
Quarter size
1 1/4"
Half-dollar size
1 1/2"
Ping-pong ball size
1 3/4"
Golf ball size
2 1/2"
Tennis ball size
2 3/4”
Baseball size
4”
Grapefruit size
4 1/2"
Softball size
 

WIND: Post a tweet if strong winds are occurring, especially if they are causing damage. Use the chart below to help estimate wind speed…or if you’ve an instrument that tells you the wind speed, that works, too!

Wind Speed Estimate
Description
25-31 mph
Large branches in motion; whistling heard in telephone wires
32-38 mph
Whole trees in motion; inconvenience felt walking against wind
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
73-122 mph

Peels surfaces off roofs; windows broken; light mobile homes pushed or overturned; moving cars pushed off road

 

Tornadoes: Report wall clouds, funnel clouds and tornadoes and their location.

Winter Precipitation Type: When temperatures are near freezing, it’s helpful to know what type of precipitation you are getting. Let us know if you have freezing rain, sleet or snow and when it changes. Also report if freezing rain or drizzle is producing a ‘glaze’ on objects or roads.

Precipitation Amounts: Tweet how much rain, snow, or ice accumulations you have gotten and the time period when it fell.

Fog: Send reports of dense fog, especially if it is restricting visibility to less than half a mile.

Damage:  Pass along reports of damage due to storms, including damage to trees, buildings and cars.

 

The National Weather Service Twitter Project is in the news – check it out at:

http://news.discovery.com/earth/weather-cars-twitter-meteorologists.html

 



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