Having attended the Severe Weather Awareness Day this past Saturday, I learned something very valuable in regards to reporting wind speeds. As you know from your Basic Skywarn Spotter class, the NWS wants wind reports to either be measured or reported in terms of damage. However, there is a caveat to the "measured" reporting that they don't go into in the Skywarn class.
When using an Anemometer to measure wind speed, it MUST be at least 30' in the air, and away from ANY object like a house, trees, car, etc. When we place the device on our roof or the roof of the car, the roof itself interacts with the wind and can actually increase the wind speed in that spot, resulting in a false "high" reading on the anemometer. You may measure a wind gust of 90 mph flowing over the roof of your car, when the actual wind speed is only 50 mph.
There were reports during the last storm of wind gusts up to 95 mph. This was actually brought up in one of the presentations regarding "false reports." The key thing to remember here, if you have wind gusts over 80-85 mph, there WILL be damage. Always report the damage. If you have wind speed measurements from a properly deployed anemometer, then that's fine, but the NWS is really interested in wind damage reports from spotters. That way they can confirm the wind measurements they're already getting.
Just wanted to share that with you. Thanks for your continued support of our communities.
Scotty | N4WRD