Use the below methods to report Severe Weather to the National Weather Service in Topeka


********WHAT TO REPORT********

Who: State your name. If you have been to a spotter training session consider yourself a trained spotter (Classes are offered every spring in Woodson County).

Where: State your location - include a major city and your county, especiall if you are not at home. Also, let us know which direction you are looking (i.e. N, S, E, W, etc)

When: State the time that you observed the event, and for how long the event persisted.

What: Report conditions that satisfy the criteria for a Severe Thunderstorm. These include:

  • Tornado: A violently rotating column of air attached to a thunderstorm base, and IN CONTACT with the ground. Dust or debris will be seen.
  • Downburst/Outflow Wind: A strong out rush of damaging winds on or near the ground. A severe thunderstorm will produce wind speeds greater than 58mph. These winds can exceed 100mph, and do not rotate.
  • Hail: Balls or clumps of ice that fall from severe thunderstorms. Hail can range in size from the size of peas, up to 7" in diameter - the size of the largest hailstone ever measured. Severe thunderstorms produce hail greater than 1.00" in diameter.
  • Funnel Cloud: A rotating, funnel shaped cloud attached to a thunderstorm base and extending downward, but NOT in contact with the ground. Please also report rotating wall clouds!
  • Flash Flooding: A rapid rise in water, usually within 6 hours of heavy rainfall. Water spilling over roadways, or steams or creeks out of their bands also indicates flash flooding.


********Estimating Wind Speed********

50-57 mph: Small Branches, Limbs less than 2" in diameter down

58-69 mph: Large Limbs 2-4" in diameter, Power Lines down

70-80 mph: Small Trees uprooted, Large Limbs greater than 4" in diameter down, Shingles torn off houses

> 80 mph:  Large Tress uprooted, Power Poles snapped off, Cars blown off roadways


********Estimating Hail Size********

Relate hail diameter to coin size: If greater in diameter than a coin:
.75" = Penny 1.75" = Golf Ball
.88" = Nickel 2.50" = Tennis Ball
1.00" = Quarter 2.75" = Baseball
1.25" = Half Dollar 4.50" = Grapefruit