Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days.
Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.



Ice storms are caused by freezing rain. The raindrops move into a thin layer of below-freezing air right near the surface of the earth, allowing them to freeze on contact to the ground, trees, cars and other objects.



Seasonal dangers, including snow and ice on roads, and reduced visibility from winter precipitation, make it important for drivers to prepare and focus to prevent accidents.


Spotters what to report and not report to the National Weather Service.

Please Submit Reports on All:

  • Tornadoes
  • Funnel Clouds
  • Waterspouts
  • Wall Clouds
  • Shelf Clouds
  • Hail
  • Storm Damage
  • Flooding
  • Heavy Rainfall
  • Winter Weather

What To Report 

  1. Wind of 58 mph or greater
  2. Hail of any size
  3. Funnel with rotation, or rotation in the clouds
  4. Tornado on the ground
  5. Rotating wall cloud
  6. Local flooding (flash flood)
  7. Property damage
  • When - Start time and, if possible, duration of event.
  • Where - Location(s) of event (or path)
  • What - Types of severe weather observed
  • Your phone number (if we need additional information)

What Not To Report 

  1. Do not call the Grand Rapids weather service if we have a local severe weather net active
  2. Big black clouds (BBC)
  3. Rain (Net control already knows that it's raining)
  4. Wind less than 58 mph
  5. It's not raining
  6. Scud clouds

Report Hail of Any Size
Hail Reference Chart

Pea – 0.25"

Plain M&M – 0.50"

Penny – 0.75"

Nickel – 0.88"

Quarter – 1.00"

Half Dollar – 1.25"

Ping Pong – 1.50"

Golf Ball – 1.75"

Lime – 2.00"

Tennis Ball – 2.50"

Baseball – 2.75"

Large Apple – 3.00"

Softball – 4.00"

Grapefruit – 4.50"

Amateur Radio Operators that have joined a dedicated formal SKYWARN Net

  • Please Do Not Call The National Weather Services 
    1-800 NUMBER!
  • Submit all your reports to the net control operator.
  • Net control will relay all reports to the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids.

Amateur spotters with SKYWARN training who are not Amateur Radio Operators

NWS Office, NOAA
4899 South Complex Dr. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512-4034
(616) 949-0643, Ext. 726
Contact: Jim Maczko
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This information was verified with the Grand Rapids Weather Service
May 21, 2013 by Dave Smith



No events found

Do1Thing - Small steps toward being prepared for an emergency