Report Format

SulCom Summer/Convective Weather Program

Effective May 4, 2024

Remember:  Report Format = “The Four W’s”

Who, What, When, Where

Before Moving Forward, Please Read and Understand the Following:

All information below is required for a report to be considered valid!!

Speak at “reading speed” (not too slow, not too fast) and clearly.

Use standard phonetics (from the International Phonetic Alphabet) only where needed.  Not all words and phrases require use of phonetics. 

Use of plain language is required.  Do not use “Q” signals, jargon or codes.

The end-to end exchanges as shown below should take between 30 and 40 seconds of time.

Faster than 30 seconds produces potential errors.  Slower than 40 seconds disrupts flow.

This format is intended to be clear and concise.  Do not add any extra words/information beyond what is shown below.

Here is an example on what a valid report’s communications exchange is intended to look like.

Who (Was: “Source”)

(who Observed the Meteorological / Hydrological Event)

Unless otherwise documented, the person who observed the event must be provided as the call sign of the Radio Amateur.   Using “Trained Spotter” here is not acceptable.



!!Exceptions – Please Read!!


Regardless of the nature of the report, this program does not accept information from unqualified, and / or secondhand sources.

What (Was: “Condition”)

(the Meteorological / Hydrological Event Observed)

"What" is to be provided as one of the items listed on the Criteria Page using the routing directions indicated on that page. The only exceptions allowed are cases when Sullivan Weather requests information not on the Criteria Page, or requests re-routing of non-severe criteria as needed.

Example for All Aloft Conditions (Items 1 through 3 on Criteria Sheet):

"Funnel Cloud, Looking North-Northeast"

Example for All Other Conditions (Items 4 through 13 on Criteria Sheet):

"1-1/4” (spoken as “one and one-quarter inch”) Measured Hail"

When (Was: “Time”)

(When Did the Meteorological / Hydrological Event Occur, or Is It Currently Happening?)

"When" the event happened (NOT the time of filing or creation of the report) is to be provided in 12-hour format, like one would see on a standard wristwatch.  Using “Current Time” here is not acceptable.



Where (Was: “Location”)

(Where did the Meteorological / Hydrological Event Happen, or Where is it Happening?)


Aloft Condition locations (Items 1 through 3 on the Criteria page) will most likely NOT be at the same location as the observer.

For aloft events, provide the general direction that the spotter is looking using the 16 point compass format after the “What” provided.

NOTE:  Ground event (Items 4 through 13 on the Criteria page) location should be the observer’s location.

See the examples shown in the “What” section above.

Where” the event happened (or is happening) must be provided one of four ways:

Option 1

Street Address and City/Town and County.


N7409 Mariner Hills Circle, Elkhorn would be said as: “North Seven Four Zero Nine Mariner Hills Circle, Elkhorn, Walworth County

3827 N 74th Street, Milwaukee would be said as: “Three Eight Two Seven North Seven Four Street, Milwaukee”, Milwaukee County

W342 N23476 Lakeview Drive, Big Bend    would be said as: “West Three Four Two, North Two Three Four Seven Six Lakeview Drive, Big Bend, Waukesha County

Option 2

As measured Latitude/Longitude coordinates and the closest city/town and County.

If provided, Lat/Long coordinates for event location must follow these standards as set by the Served Agency:

a.         Decimal degree format (dd.ddd) must be used.

b.         Accuracy level must be three digits to the right of the decimal point.

c.         Map Datum reference used must be WGS84

d.         Provide only the numeric components of the location.  The “North” component of the Latitude and the “West” component of the Longitude is implied.

e.         Say all numeric elements of the location one digit at a time with a very short pause between the latitude and longitude components.



42.583N 88.443W near Oconomowoc would be said as:

four two point five eight three, eight eight point four four three, near Oconomowoc, Waukesha County”

Option 3

As a Distance and Direction from a Major Intersection and County


3.5 (said as “three point five”) North I-43 and County Road C, Ozaukee County

Option 4

As a distance (to the closest 1/10 mile, if possible) and direction using the 16-point compass format (North-Northeast, South-Southwest, etc.) from a valid reference and county.


"5.2 West-Northwest Jefferson, Jefferson County”

---Click Here for Details on Why it is Done This Way for This Option ---


---Click Here for a Sample of a Complete Report---

Follow-up Reports

Occasionally, Sullivan Weather will require follow-up on a report received from the field.  For example, the Sullivan Weather meteorologist staff may require more information about a spotter's report or may want to know the current conditions at the location of the original observation.  The format for the follow-up report is very similar in structure to the format used for the observed report indicated above.  Please see the Followup Report Page for details and some examples.



In all cases, Sullivan Weather will determine the need for follow-up information.  It is not to be sent arbitrarily.


Regardless of the nature of the report, this program does not accept information from unqualified, and/or secondhand sources.

Revision History

Number Date Comments                                                                                             

1 1 March 2011 Revised for Addition of Lat/Long as Option for Location

2 22 Feb 2014 Reversed Order of Options for Providing the “Location” Element

3 24 Jan 2016 Added Street Address/City and Revised Order of Options for the “Location” Element

4 11 March 2017 Re-Ordered and Re-Named Elements and Page Layout

5 1 May 2017 Added “nearest city/town” to Lat/lLong Location Option for Validation Purposes

6 4 May 2024 Added County references in the location samples and fixed a typo.  Omitted by error in previous versions.