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Hilberg's Tips -- The Importance of Significant Weather Reports

Significant Weather Reports (SWR's) submitted by CoCoRaHS observers are a huge help to the National Weather Service. All SWRs are automatically routed to the local NWS office, and forecasters use these reports to monitor the progress of storms. Questions we get from time to time are "What is significant weather?" and "How often should I submit a Significant Weather report?". First, Significant Weather Reports are supplementary reports and DO NOT replace your Daily Report nor should it be submitted in lieu of a Daily Report. The SWR is great for updating rainfall after your regular observation time. You should not be updating your daily report once it is submitted, except to make a correction or add additional information.

What is "significant weather"? In general, it is heavy rain (falling at a rate of an inch an hour or more), snow accumulations, high winds, icing from freezing rain, or flooding. However, you are not limited to this list - use your best judgment. How often should you report? You should report as often as needed to convey what is happening. Comments included with your Significant Weather report are very useful.