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This document is a presentation that was given at our February club meeting by Nicholas Young.

Skywarn
Nicholas Young, SpinDoctorsWX.com forecaster, SKYWARY Severe Spotter
"Storm Spotting and Amateur Radio"
Skywarn


What is SKYWARN, and what is the job of a SKYWARN spotter?

SKYWARN is the National Weather Service (NWS) program consisting of over 230,000 trained
volunteer weather spotters.  Storm spotters come from many walks of life, including fire fighters, law
enforcement, and amateur radio operators.  SKYWARN spotters coordinate with local emergency
mamagement officials and send reports of weather based phenomena to the NWS.

In addition to serving as a community's first line of defense against dangerous storms, spotters provide
important information to warning forecasters who make critical warning decisions.  SKYWARN storm
spotters play a critical role of giving the NWS vital ground truth data, which helps the NWS perform the
primary mission, to save lives and property.

Who is Eligible for SKYWARN spotter service?

NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication, such as HAM
radio, to join the SKYWARN program.  Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS
workers, publick utility workers and other concerned private citizens.  Individuals affiliated with
hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also
encouraged to become a spotter.

How Can I Get Involved?

The NWS has 122 local Weather Forecast Offices, each with a Warning Coordination Meteorologist,
who is responsible for administering the SKYWARN program in their local area.  Training is counducted
at the local offices and covers:

Classes are free and typically are about two hours long.  To find out when a SKYWARN class will be
conducted in your local area, contact your local Warning Coordination Meteorologist at:
http://www.stormready.noaa.gov/contact.htm

I'm Trained... Now what?

After getting your training out of the way, a good place to start is North Alabama
SKYWARN's homepage, www.nalsw.net. It is filled with information on what to report,
how to go about it, and general SKYWARN information.






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