The Severe Hazards Analysis and Verification Experiment

The Severe Hazards Analysis and Verification Experiment (SHAVE) was a project run by CIMMS researchers in collaboration with the National Severe Storms Laboratory. The primary goal for SHAVE was to collect hail reports at high spatial resolution following thunderstorms. Reports include ‘no hail’ and non-severe (diameters less than 1-inch) reports. This was accomplished by combining data from the Multi-Radar, Multi-Sensor system with geographic information to call members of the public who may have had hailfall at their location. SHAVE was largely student-led and student-run by undergraduate students from the University of Oklahoma supervised by CIMMS scientists. The project also collected wind damage reports, flash flood reports, and winter precipitation reports. The project ran from 2006 through 2015, primarily operating during May through August.

A SHAVE report swath and Storm Data reports for a storm overlaid on MRMS MESH Swath for a storm in the Finger Lakes region of New York on 16 July 2008.
Shave Student Research Assistants
Aaron Treadway Chip Legett Lamont Bain
Abraham Frei-Pearson Christa Riley Margaret Frey
Alexandra Wright Corey Howard Mary Anne Beers
Angelyn Kolodziej Cory Mottice Nicole Ramsey
Arielle Ahrens David King Paul Goree
Bethany Hardzinski Derek Rosseau Rachael Sigler
Brandon Smith Erika Kohler Rachel Gaal
Brandon Wesbury Garrett Layne Sam Coldiron
Brent Pesel James Miller Sean Dougherty
Brett Roberts Jenifer Bowen Shannon Kohake
Bria Hieatt Jessica Erlingis Skylar Williams
Brian Koch Joe Young Steve Irwin
Brian Salsieder Jordan Christian Taylor Faires
Brian Squitieri JP Fowler Tiffany Meyer
Brittany Newman Kelsey Mulder Wolfgang Hanft
Chad Echols Kevin Biehl Zach Davis
SHAVE student operators working in the Development Laboratory at the National Weather Center in Norman, OK.

SHAVE Publications

The following publications used SHAVE data. If you use SHAVE data in a publication, please let us know so we can add it to the list.

Ortega, K. L., T. M. Smith, K. L. Manross, K. A. Scharfenberg, A. Witt, A. G. Kolodziej, and J. J. Gourley, 2009: The severe hazards analysis and verification experiment. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90, 1519-1530. doi: 10.1175/2009BAMS2815.1

Gourley, J. J., J. M. Erlingis, T. M. Smith, K. L. Ortega, and Y. Hong, 2010: Remote collection and analysis of witness reports on flash floods. J. Hydrology, 394, 53-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2010.05.042

Blair, S. F., D. R. Deroche, J. M. Boustead, J. W. Leighton, B. L. Barjenbruch, and W. P. Gargan, 2011: A radar-based assessment of the detectability of giant hail. Electronic J. Severe Storms Meteor., 6 (7), 1–30.

Calianno, M., I. Ruin, and J. J. Gourley, 2013: Supplementing flash flood reports with impact classification. J. Hydrology, 477, 1-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.09.036

Gourley, J.J., Y. Hong, Z.L. Flamig, A. Arthur, R. Clark, M. Calianno, I. Ruin, T. Ortel, M.E. Wieczorek, P. Kirstetter, E. Clark, and W.F. Krajewski, 2013: A unified flash flood database across the United States. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 94, 799–805. doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00198.1

Ortega, K. L., J. M. Krause, and A. V. Ryzhkov, 2016: Polarimetric radar characteristics of melting hail. Part III: Validation of the algorithm for hail size discrimination. J. Appl. Meteor. Climat., 55, 829-848. doi: 10.1175/JAMC-D-15-0203.1

Ortega, K. L., 2018: Evaluating multi-radar, multi-sensor products for surface hailfall diagnosis. Electronic J. Severe Storms Meteor., 13 (1), 1‒36.


The hail, wind, and winter precipitation datasets are below. For information on using the flash flood data, please visit the NSSL FLASH Database webpage.

License and Attribution

The SHAVE data sets are licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

The primary reference for SHAVE is the 2009 BAMS article by Ortega et al. listed above. Each data set also has DOI that should be referenced for the data set used within research.

Summary of the SHAVE Dataset

SHAVE operators made over 255,000 phone calls collecting the data set. Below is a summary of our data collection per year.

Year Hail Wind Flash Flood Winter Data Total
2006 5735 0 0 0 5735
2007 4623 442 0 0 5065
2008 7157 858 2814 0 10829
2009 6136 1163 3012 0 10311
2010 5598 3275 3423 0 12296
2011 4450 552 2 0 5004
2012 6252 131 0 1366 7749
2013 4122 13 0 758 4893
2014 3670 1 1259 52 4982
2015 6556 0 457 0 7013
Total 54299 6435 10967 2176 73877

Where to start?

The SHAVE data sets are quite large. While the data sets are separated into the days the verification phone calls occurred, it can still be difficult on finding a first step with just the reports data. Below are two potentially helpful resources:

1) A list of all hail, wind, and winter reports within 175 km of the nearest WSR-88D. Reports can be “double” or “triple”-counted should they occur within 175 km of 2 or 3 WSR-88D radars.

2) A list of bounding boxes (lat-lon), event start and end times, and a list of neighboring WSR88D cases, for some of the better report density cases. These events total 735. These cases were based on hail reports, but wind reports may also be part of them.

SHAVE Hail Reports

DOI information


Download SHAVE Hail Reports

SHAVE Wind Reports

DOI information


Download SHAVE Wind Reports

SHAVE Winter Precipitation Reports

DOI information


Download SHAVE Winter Reports


For any questions please contact Kiel Ortega.