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Submitting an Observation

Enter only what you can. Try not to estimate values except snowcover. However, if you must estimate, please say so in the comments section. The goal is to keep the observations as accurate as possible.
The city or town from which you are reporting. Must be entered for the observation to be accepted.
The two-letter abbreviation for the state or province from which you are reporting. Required only for Canadian and US observations.

United States:
AK - Alaska             AL - Alabama            AR - Arkansas
AZ - Arizona            CA - California         CO - Colorado
CT - Connecticut        DC - Dist. of Columbia  DE - Delaware
FL - Florida            GA - Georgia            HI - Hawaii
IA - Iowa               ID - Idaho              IL - Illinois
IN - Indiana            KS - Kansas             KY - Kentucky
LA - Louisiana          MA - Massachusetts      MD - Maryland
ME - Maine              MI - Michigan           MN - Minnesota
MO - Missouri           MS - Mississippi        MT - Montana
NC - North Carolina     ND - North Dakota       NE - Nebraska		
NH - New Hampshire      NJ - New Jersey         NM - New Mexico
NV - Nevada             NY - New York           OH - Ohio
OK - Oklahoma           OR - Oregon             PA - Pennsylvania
RI - Rhode Island       SC - South Carolina     SD - South Dakota
TN - Tennessee          TX - Texas              UT - Utah
VA - Virginia           VT - Vermont            WA - Washington
WI - Wisconsin          WV - West Virginia      WY - Wyoming

AB - Alberta            BC - British Colombia   MB - Manitoba
NB - New Brunswick      NF - Newfoundland       NS - Nova Scotia
NT - NW Territories     ON - Ontario            PE - Prince Edward Island
PQ - Quebec             YK - Yukon              SK - Saskatchewan

The country from which you are reporting. If your country does not appear on the listing, send me email, and it will be added.
Latitude, Longitude:
These fields are optional. If you provide them, your observations will be plotted on maps containing the observations of other users as well. Make sure the format is correct:
Example: New York City is latitude 40.77, longitude -73.98
Temperature, Dewpoint, and Relative Humidity:
If only two of the three are entered, the third is calculated.
Wind Direction, Speed, and Gust:
Enter the compass direction of the wind (ex: N,NNE,NE, etc), and the sustained speed and maximum gust speed observed. You can also enter VRB for wind direction to designate variable wind direction.
Enter the pressure reduced to sea level. While input in either inches of mercury or millibars are accepted, output is only in millibars.
Cloud Cover:
If you can see the sky and determine the approximate percentage of cloud cover, choose either clear, Partly Cloudy, Mostly Cloudy, or Cloudy. If you can not see the sky (because of fog, snow, etc), choose Obscured. Otherwise, choose Don't Know. :)
Rain:Liquid precipitation, not freezing on the surface.
Snow:Any type of snow observed--snow flakes,pellets or grains.
Ice Pellets:Pellets of ice reaching the surface, excluding hail.
Ice Crystals:Flakes of ice resulting from extreme cold - usually below -20F.
Freezing Rain:Liquid precipitation which freezes on the surface.
Hail:Balls of ice falling to the ground as a result of convection (thunderstorms). Different from ice pellets.
Thunder: Check if either thunder is heard or lightning is seen within 5 miles. If the distance is greater, don't check this box, but just make comments to it in the comments section.
Mist: Suspended water droplets in the atmosphere that do not significantly reduce visibility.
Fog: Check if visibility is reduced significantly. If visibility is known, enter in comments section.
Haze: Check if visibility is reduced significantly.
Smoke: Check if smoke is significantly reducing visibility.
Blowing Snow: Check if blowing snow is significantly reducing visibility (causing drifting, driving problems, etc). This is snow on the ground that is being picked up by the wind into the air. Do NOT use this to report falling snow that is blowing horizontally, or snow blowing off roofs. Standard NWS guidelines state that BS should be reported only if the wind speed is above 12mph. Reports of blowing snow will not be accepted for wind speeds below this threshold.
Blowing Dust, Spray: Same as above, except for dust, spray (ocean spray).
Basically, enter any obs-related specifics you'd like to add. These might include rainfall totals, snowfall totals, snow depth, highs and lows, beginning or ending times of precipitation, or damage reports. Do not clutter the section with forecasts, conversation, or anything that can be left to email or AOL Instant Messenger. Remember: this is a section for *observations* that is used by others and the NWS. Use this space WISELY!
-Bob Hart (hart@ems.psu.edu)