Reference Cities for Use by Severe Weather Spotters
All severe weather reports relayed to NWS meteorologists at the Milwaukee/Sullivan Office by trained spotters must utilize the following standards to describe the location of the weather phenomena:
Distance and compass direction from the nearest city/village known as a reference city.
Distance is regarded as distance to the nearest one tenth of a mile (0.1 mile) from the recognized center of a city/village (not the edge or limits of the city/village). This may be an intersection of major roads that may be considered the center, or a cluster of administrative buildings.
We require this format because radar information (pathcasts) in NWS warnings and associated follow-up statements is based on distance from the geographic center of cities/villages. In addition, post-storm information written in Local Storm Reports (LSR’s) sent to all media outlets, and the Storm Data publication use this notation.
Cities and villages that can be used are found on the
standard State of
2.2 E Jefferson, Jefferson Co.
2.4 NE Waupun, Fond du Lac Co.
0.5 E Cobb, Iowa Co.
3.7 S Mitchell Field, Milwaukee Co.
5.5 WSW Madison,
However, for some cities, such as
Note: Spotters are to determine their reference point using the lat/long data pair as the first option, and the given intersection of two roads as the second option using the information provided in the documents provided via the links below. For many reference cities, the lat/long location will not be exactly the same as the intersection location, however these two locations should be fairly close.
Over time, there will be “how to” documentation added using various available tools. Please check often for any updates. If you wish to be notified of any updates to this site, please e-mail the webmaster and you will be placed on the notification list. If you have any tips or tricks that you would like to share with others, please e-mail them to the webmaster. Your contributions would be greatly appreciated.
The locations given for the indicated references are thought to be as accurate as possible; both in written description and in latitude/longitude coordinates. However, there may be errors noted by the user base. If there are errors noted in the references, please contact the webmaster with the reference name(s) in question and the suggested correction(s). Your assistance in keeping these documents accurate is appreciated.
Otherwise, please contact the webmaster if there are any other questions or concerns.