British Columbia and Yukon Twitter Storm Reporting

You can now submit your significant weather observations to Environment Canada’s - Meteorological Services of Canada (MSC) via Twitter.

Everyone talks about the weather; now’s your chance to "tweet" your weather observations and be heard! Environment Canada’s Meteorological Services (MSC) will be searching for tweets pertaining to significant or unusual weather.

Why Twitter?

Twitter provides a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets providing real-time information on significant weather events and their impacts.

An advantage of searching Twitter for weather reports is the capability to utilize specific engines (see list below) in order to follow specific tweets associated with Hashtags. This capability will help to increase timely and accurate online weather reporting and communication between the public and weather forecast offices.

Another advantage is the recently added "Tweet Location Feature” that associates geographical information with the individual Tweets. This allows Environment Canada’s meteorologists to correlate weather related Tweets to specific locations. The reports will be carefully evaluated during the experiment to ensure quality and timeliness.

Who Can Participate?

Anyone with a Twitter account can participate.

Note: Trained or registered storm spotters should continue to use pre-established communication methods (via established toll-free line), when possible, to submit severe weather reports to Environment Canada’s Meteorological Service.

Here's What You Need to Do

  1. Log into your Twitter account via the web or mobile device.
  2. Submit your tweet report in the suggested following format:

For British Columbia #bcstorm your location your significant weather report

For Yukon #ytstorm your location - your significant weather report

Some examples of weather report tweets without the Tweet Location Feature turned on:

  • #bcstorm North Vancouver - 10 cm new snow from 9 am to 1 pm
  • #bcstorm 20 KM West of Hope - Hail 10 mm in diameter at 4:25 pm.

If Tweet Location Feature (Geo Referencing capability) is selected in your setup

A screenshot of how to enable Twitter's Geo Referencing feature located in bottom corner of the tweet box.

#bcstorm your significant weather report

Some examples of weather report tweets with the “Tweet Location Feature” selected:

  • #bcstorm 10 cm of new snow as of 1 pm
  • #bcstorm Hail 10 mm in diameter at 4:25 pm

What type of information should you report?

You can tweet any weather event that occurs in your local area, but we are most interested in significant or unusual events and their impacts: snowfall, severe weather, flooding, etc. In particular:

  • Damage from winds (trees down, power outages) - briefly describe what was damaged and time it occurred.
  • Hail-include size of hail and time it fell.
  • Tornadoes or funnel clouds.
  • Flooding (roads washed out, property damage) - briefly describe what is occurring.
  • Rainfall during an event or total amount of rainfall recorded during a storm. When reporting rainfall amounts, include the time period when it fell
  • Snowfall during an event or total amount of snowfall recorded during a storm. When reporting snowfall amounts, include the time period when it fell.
  • Freezing rain or freezing drizzle producing a 'glaze' on objects or roads.

Additional Guidance

  • Refer to the submitting twitter reports Frequently Asked Questions section.
  • The purpose of this project is to allow people to submit reports. Please be responsible and respectful of the purpose.
  • Be as specific as possible when describing the weather report.
  • A valid Twitter user account is required to submit reports. As such, use of this service constitutes an agreement to the terms of service of the provider.

Monitoring Your Reports

The following external links will help you monitor #bcstorm and #ytstorm tweets:

Important Notices

  • Environment Canada’s Meteorological Service will not respond to your Tweets. The volume and variety of Tweets would make this almost impossible within our operational duties.
  • Many of the websites listed on this page are outside of the control of Environment Canada and are listed solely for the convenience of our users. Environment Canada does not endorse any of the services found on these sites and is unable to provide technical assistance to users who use these websites.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions for the program, please Contact Us