Target Area Rules Administrative Note: After soliciting user input prior to the move to the new ST platform in late 2014 and early 2015, and after a series of final discussions among the staff members about those suggestions, a comprehensive restructuring of the Target Area rules is now being publicized as we approach the 2015 severe weather season. The Target Area has always been Stormtrack's primary discussion area for severe weather events. Although the rules are relatively straight-forward, familiarizing yourself with them will help to minimize the moderation required to keep the signal-to-noise ratio at an acceptable level. Thread types All meteorological or chasing-related discussion regarding an upcoming, ongoing, or recent severe weather event is welcome in the appropriate Target Area thread. Each thread will only pertain to activity that occurred on that day. To keep content organized and easy-to-follow, there are two thread “types” allowed within the Target Area: 1) “EVENT” – To reduce confusion and simply the rules, Stormtrack no longer uses separate threads for forecasts, nowcasts, or discussion of ongoing or recent severe weather events. In other words, what used to go into a FCST, NOW, TALK, DISC, or MISC thread (all “types” that Stormtrack has used in the past) will go into the appropriate EVENT thread. 2) “REPORTS” – Only first-hand chase reports are allowed within REPORTS threads. If you didn’t chase or make an “abnormal” effort to witness an event, do not post in the REPORTS thread. A person may post multiple times within a REPORTS thread to share additional information (e.g., one post for the initial, on-the-way-back-after-the-chase report and second, follow-up post with more details or links to additional pictures or video). Please do not reply to posts in the REPORTS thread to ask questions or make comments. Instead, reply to the member in the appropriate EVENT thread. Starting new threads When starting a new thread, the subject line MUST be formatted as YYYY-MM-DD [type]: [location], where YYYY is the year, MM is the month, DD is the day, [type] is the thread type (EVENT or REPORT), and [location] are any state abbreviations in or close to your target area. If this isn't clear, look at the forum for examples. Do not start new threads with empty content (placeholder threads) as they might not get used and tend to clutter up the forum. Normally there should only be one EVENT and one REPORTS thread per day, but you can create another if your target is in a different synoptic regime or centered 500+ miles from the other target center. Style and substance We intend Target Area discussion to be of higher quality than that which occurs elsewhere on the site. This does not mean that all posts must be highly detailed forecasts or only contain high-level meteorological content. It does, however, mean that we would like to avoid meteorologically irrelevant “chatter” (e.g., “Boy, it sure looks like a nice setup next week, but the models are still inconsistent. We’ll get a better idea of the potential as new runs come in”) or posts that contain only readily-accessible content. As such, do not repost weather bulletins unless it's an excerpt and you have substantial information to add. All discussion of other peoples' post content must be constructive and positive. Negative comments (including "most people don't agree with that" and "don't take this the wrong way, but that’s stupid") may not be posted; take this kind of discussion to PM or e-mail. For misleading or inappropriate content, flag the post or contact a moderator and move on. Extraneous chatter is allowed if the post already contains substantial weather discussion and the remarks don't disrupt or derail the thread. Beginners If you consider yourself a beginner, you are welcome to contribute to Target Area. There's often aspects of the chase day you might notice and wish to share with others. However, if you believe you are out of your depth or feel the need to ask questions, use the Introductory Chasing forum instead. Target Area is not a Q&A board. Likewise, experienced users responding to content posted by novices are expected to do so in an exemplary manner.