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Are you utilizing social media to report severe weather?

Shawn Gossman

Skywarn Forum Owner
Staff member
Thread starter #1
Let's face it. We now live in a social media age. To be honest, social media isn't all that bad. Because of the massive amount of people who use it, messages and information can reach people a lot quicker than old ways.

Think about this... How many people do you know actually have weather radios? That work and are always in alert mode? I know some who do but the majority of people don't often pick up that useful appliance. However, most everyone has a smart phone and most everyone is on Facebook, Twitter and the works.

The NWS can reach a lot of people, a lot faster with a status update or a tweet than with that old fashion weather radio. And we can quickly report changing weather conditions through social media a lot quicker than with eSpotter or a telephone number.

So should we embrace social media as the best way to report our severe weather findings, as well as the best way to alert the mass public? Or do you feel that it is a bad road to take? Explain your reasoning and add to this conversation, below! :)
It depends on the severity of the report. During the winter months, I use it, however, during the summer months I use the number given to spotters and call it in directly, especially if it is an immediate threat to life and property, then I'll follow up on social media with photos, if any damage is done that I can safely photograph.

My office has abandoned eSpotter, due to low usage. I DO have a weather radio, which is usually in alert mode, however, due to a defect (which was recalled), I have to have it set to all counties. There have been occasions where this has been useful, considering a majority of squall lines that affect this region are NE/SW oriented, and having a warning issued for the county to my north, as well as Special Marine Warnings for Northern Lake Huron have given me extra lead time to take precautions.

edited to add information.
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I am not sure how much the local NWS office pays attention to social media. You can't post to their FB page only send them messages and I am not a tweeter.....twitterer....

I will reserve social media for pics and AAR (After Action Review).
I do. I make my primary reports via NWSChat. but if I have pictures/video, or of one of my local spotters posts video/pictures I will send them to our WFO via twitter and/or facebook. Our skywarn group has both twitter and facebook accounts to take reports from spotters that are not amateur radio operators.

Mike C

I use Twitter to send reports to my WFO usually after a storm unless an immediate report is needed. However, this is going to change for me.

Instead of spotting from home this year, I'm planning to be moblie....to a degree. So I'm going to try and call in reports instead of using Twitter. I'll still use it to send pics but I'm pretty sure my WFO would like to know of a tornado on the ground in real time than l having a report of one that is 5-10 minutes old.