You can now submit your significant weather observations to the National Weather Service (NWS) via Twitter.
Everyone talks about the weather. Now’s your chance to “tweet” it and be heard. Through an experimental program, the National Weather Service will be searching for tweets that contain significant weather information.
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.
Who Can Participate?
Anyone with a Twitter account can participate. Note: Trained storm spotters should use pre-established communication methods (Amateur Radio, toll-free line, eSpotter, etc.), when possible, to send severe weather reports to the NWS–although Twitter reports (photos) may be useful in addition to pre-established methods.
Here’s What You Need to Do:
If Geotagging is available on your 3rd party Twitter application:
- Make sure geotagging is turned on for your 3rd party Twitter app.
- Make sure geotagging is turned on for your Twitter account page.
- Submit your Tweet report via your 3rd party app in the following format:
#wxreport your significant weather report
Some examples of weather report tweets with geotagging:
Ex. 1: #wxreport 6.0″ of new snow as of 1 pm
Ex. 2: #wxreport Hail 3/4 inch in diameter at 4:25 pm
If Geotagging is NOT available on your 3rd party Twitter application (or you want to use the web-based Twitter.com):
- Log into your Twitter account via the web or mobile device.
- Submit your tweet report in the following format:
#wxreport WW your location WW your significant weather report
- Your location can be just about anything, but the more specific the better. Here are some examples listed from most accurate to least accurate location identification:
- Most accurate–A latitude and longitude:
WW 44.231, -88.485 WW
- An address:
WW 2485 S Point Rd, Green Bay, WI 54313 WW
- A street intersection:
WW intersection of Holly St and N 4th St, Perry, OK WW
- A city name:
WW Ft Lauderdale, FL WW
- Least accurate–A zip code:
WW 53221 WW
Some examples of weather report tweets without geotagging:
Ex. 1: #wxreport WW 1289 W Oakridge Circle, St Louis, MO WW 6.0″ new snow as of 1 pm
Ex. 2: #wxreport WW 44.115, -88.595 WW Hail 3/4 inch in diameter at 4:25 pm
What You Can Report
You can tweet any weather event that occurs in your local area, but we are most interested in significant events: snowfall, severe weather, flooding, etc. In particular:
- Damage from winds–briefly describe what was damaged and time it occurred.
- Hail–include size of hail and time it fell.
- Tornadoes or funnel clouds.
- Flooding–briefly describe what is occurring.
- Snowfall during an event and storm total. When reporting snowfall, include the time period when it fell.
- Freezing rain or freezing drizzle producing a ‘glaze’ on objects or roads.
- Dense fog restricting visibility to less than a half mile.
Frequently Asked Questions
- The purpose of this project is to allow people to submit reports. Please be responsible and respectful of the purpose.
- Be as specific as possible when describing the weather report.
- A valid Twitter user account is required to submit reports. As such, use of this service constitutes an agreement to the terms of service of the provider. Go to: http://twitter.com/tos for more information
- Interested in displaying tweets from the project on your own web page? The files you need are contained here (zip). See the “readme.txt” file included for more information.
Monitoring Your Reports
The following external (non-NWS) links will monitor #wxreport tweets (click the links below):
Note: Some #wxreport monitoring websites that plot the weather report on a map may not properly plot tweets that use the “WW” location tag.
If you have any questions or suggestions for the program, please contact Corey Pieper — firstname.lastname@example.org