The Bureau's Storm Spotters

An important component of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's Severe Thunderstorm Warning Service is a national network of volunteer Storm Spotters who provide "on-the-spot" information on damaging thunderstorms.

How You Can Join the Storm Spotter Network

If you would like to join the Bureau's storm spotter network you need to be:

  • 18 years of age or older, and
  • a resident of Australia.

To join, print out and complete the Spotter Application Form (pdf) and post it to your local Bureau Regional Office. We will notify you as soon as possible on the success of your application.

The Bureau provides comprehensive training material to all new spotters, and there is further information, training material and newsletters available online.

Strong tornado near the highway between Nimmitabel and Cooma New South Wales Hailstones from the Sydney hailstorm, New South Wales, 14 April, 1999.

Strong tornado near highway between Nimmitabel and Cooma (l), hailstones from the Sydney hail storm of 1999 (r).

What Do Storm Spotters Report?

Storm Spotters are asked to report to the Bureau of Meteorology if they observe, or hear of:

  • large hail (2 cm in diameter or greater);
  • wind gusts (90 km/h or greater);
  • tornadoes;
  • heavy rainfall conducive to flash flooding.

Like to Know More?

More About the Storm Spotters

Photo credits:

Strong tornado near the highway between Nimmitabel and Cooma New South Wales, 23 December 2008. Photograph courtesy of Heather Leckie.

Hailstones from the Sydney hail storm, New South Wales,14 April 1999 compared with a seven-centimetre diameter cricket ball. Photograph courtesy of Milton Speer.

Top left column: A wall cloud at the base of a severe thunderstorm, Hornsby, New South Wales. Photograph courtesy of Andrew Treloar.

Submit a Report

Registered Spotters only
Registered Spotter Login Required


Online Report Form

Printable Report Form (pdf)