SpotterNetwork: Question on feedback received

May 3, 2019
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Brandon, ms
Submitted my first storm spotter report today. 2 questions follows. I hope this is the proper forum for these kind of questions.

It was a flash flooding event of which I was on the road as car passenger and witnessed the flash flooding during my travels. In my quality feedback of my report, it asked how much? Based on the guidelines, I am only to submit measured rainfall amounts and no estimates.

So I get this right the next time for my next submission, what should I put in my narrative? I was completing the report form on phone which is a challenge in itself due to screen size and me being 2nd pair of eyes for nervous driver, thus giving short concise report. Screenshot of feedback is below.

Rather than create a 2nd thread, I figure to add 2nd question on different topic here on storm reports. Would it be possible to add a field to allow for attachments of pictures (1 or 2 max per report)? “A picture does speak a 1000 words”. Or is it because due to computer interfaces, that reports can be only text based?

Thanks for all input as I like to get things right the first time on important things of this nature :)
 

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May 18, 2013
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You got a green thumbs up, so it is an acceptable report. Flash Flooding is probably the thing NWS gets the most bad report on, so quantifying water depth can help vet the report.. Sure it would be an even better report if you said 2 feet of water over the road, but the reality a lot of the time is you don't have the time or can't safely do things like measure the water depth. I wouldn't worry about it.

As for pictures, use Twitter if you want to send the NWS a picture report.
 
May 3, 2019
19
4
1
Brandon, ms
You got a green thumbs up, so it is an acceptable report. Flash Flooding is probably the thing NWS gets the most bad report on, so quantifying water depth can help vet the report.. Sure it would be an even better report if you said 2 feet of water over the road, but the reality a lot of the time is you don't have the time or can't safely do things like measure the water depth. I wouldn't worry about it.

As for pictures, use Twitter if you want to send the NWS a picture report.
Thanks Randy for the quick reply!

Water depth is tricky especially with the “class 3 rapids” crossing the harbor point road I referenced in my report. I’d rather leave depth of water out when there are no reference points like a submerged car. With me not intimately knowing the terrain the water was flowing over, it would be wiser not to report a “guesstimate”. It just never crossed my mind to estimate the flowing water depth with the reporting guidelines worded as they are now.

I usually send pictures to our fine folks (Jackson MS) via their facebook page so I’ll continue doing that since I don’t use twitter. I just thought pictures would get to NWS much quicker via the spotters network submissions. Thanks again for your help!
 
May 3, 2019
19
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Brandon, ms
I was at my local WFO yesterday and talked about my original question in this thread. They saw my report come up in NWS chat. As far as my original question, first thing they said was what Randy said, flash flooding reports are the worst category when it comes to quality.

As far as opinion on reporting depth of water, it pretty much comes down to meteorologist subjectivity AND spotter credibility in deciding whether “how much water was crossing the road” would be considered a good quality report.