5 THINGS TO KNOW: How can I give meteorologists and researchers real-time weather updates?

May 4—The National Severe Storms Laboratory and the University of Oklahoma's Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies detail how to submit precipitation reports.

1 What is mPING app?

The mobile Precipitation Identification Near the Ground "mPING" is an app users can download and report weather conditions to researchers at the NSSL.

2 What does the NSSL do with the data?

NSSL researchers will compare the reports with what radars detect and use the information to develop new radar and forecasting technologies and techniques to determine whether snow, rain, ice pellets, mixtures or hail is falling. NSSL hopes to build a valuable database of tens of thousands of observations from across the U.S.

3 What type of precipitation can I report and does the National Weather Service use the reports in real time?

All types of precipitation can be reported. From a light drizzle of rain to snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Users can also report hail sizes and wind damage through the app along with flooding and fog.

NWS meteorologists have access to mPING observations and are able to overlay mPING reports with other data such as radar and satellite observations to aid them in their decision-making.

4 Will the mPING project be ending at some time?

We hope not! The reports are valuable to a variety of users, including the National Weather Service, and we use them for our research. We hope the project continues forever!

5 Where can I download the mPING app?

The free apps are available on iTunes or Google Play for use on both phones and tablets.