Why L.A. “Weather Spotters” Never Caught That Wind Directions Were Being Reported Opposite

Directions are not what they are “supposed to” observe (training brochure copied here):

“Weather Spotters – What to Report
National Weather Service – Los Angeles/Oxnard
• Rainfall intensity: how much rain is falling during a specific period of time (e.g., 1 inch in 20 minutes)
• Report flooding that is threatening life or property, or is disrupting traffic.
• Describe the flooding: water depth, extent, time it began and ended, etc.
• Confirmed injuries or damage
Winter Weather
• Amount, rate and time of new snow accumulations
• Elevation of snow level _ when rain changes to snow
• Any icing of roads or road closures
• Very low temperatures
• Significant winds and wind chill
• Confirmed injuries or damage
• Report winds of 30 mph or more
• Speed of sustained wind and speed of gusts
• Any wind related deaths, injuries or damage
Extreme Heat
• Heat index values become dangerous
• Temperatures exceed 95 degrees near the coast
• Temperatures exceed 105 degrees in the inland valleys
• Temperatures exceed 115 degrees in the deserts
• Report fog when visibility is at or near zero
• Estimated location, duration, direction and speed of movement
• Any hail, its size, accumulation, etc.
• Wind speed and gusts
• Rainfall rate and amount
• If lightning strikes any objects
• Confirmed injuries or damage
• Tornadoes, Funnel clouds, waterspouts or any rotating cloud
• Estimated location, duration, direction and speed of movement
• Confirmed injuries or damage
• Report when surf is 6 feet or more
• Any flooding or damage caused by any combination of high tides and/or high surf
Field Guide to Observing Weather
Estimating Winds:
15-20 mph: raises dust and loose paper; small branches moved
20-25 mph: small trees begin to sway; whitecaps on water
25-30 mph: large branches in motion; whistling in wires
30-40 mph: whole trees in motion; difficulty walking against the wind
40-45 mph: breaks twigs of trees; impedes progress
45-55 mph: breaks small tree branches; slight structural damage
55-65 mph: breaks large tree branches; pushes over shallow rooted trees; considerable
structural damage to chimneys, TV antennas, etc.
65-75 mph: widespread damage
> 75 mph: severe damage and destruction
Definitions: Tornado: A violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm and in contact with the
Funnel Cloud: A rotating, funnel-shaped cloud extending from a thunderstorm base not in contact with the ground
Waterspout: A small, relatively weak rotating column of air in contact with the ocean or other large body of water
Downburst or Microburst: A strong downdraft from a thunderstorm, with an outrush of damaging wind on or near the ground
Hail Size: 1/4 inch = pea size, ½ inch = marble size, 3/4 inch = penny size, 1 inch = quarter size, 1 3/4 inch = golf ball size, 2 3/4 inch = baseball size
• Safety first! Do not endanger yourself or others, even if it means your report will be less valuable.
• Be as specific as you can regarding location, time, measurements and impacts.
• You can report at any time. We answer the phone 24/7/365.
• You can call or submit online from anywhere: at work, hiking, while traveling, etc.
Thank you for your help as a weather spotter! The information you give us is
essential for making accurate forecasts and issuing timely warnings.”