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ne sure sign of spring each year is when Glenn Field, our Warning Coordination Meteorologist, takes his severe weather show on the road again. The purpose of his informative presentation is to recruit new people into the National Weather Service (NWS) Taunton volunteer SKYWARN Program.

SKYWARN is the NWS’s nationwide program of trained volunteer Severe Weather Spotters. It differs from the NWS’s volunteer Cooperative Weather Observer Program in that SKYWARN volunteers do not report daily weather readings, nor do they send in monthly reports, and they have no forms to fill out. Instead, they support their local community and surrounding commu- nities by providing the Weather Forecast Office (WFO) with timely and accurate hazardous and severe weather reports. These realtime reports,  

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Skywarn Training Locations and Times:

North Smithfield, RI ~ Sat., April 28,
Noon to 3 PM, at North Smithfield Town Hall Annex Building Conference Hall,
575 Smithfield Road

West Springfield, MA ~ Tues., May 1,
7 PM to 10 PM, at West Springfield City Hall/Police Station, 26 Central Street

Manchester, CT ~ Wed., May 2,
7 PM to 10 PM, at Manchester Community College, Frederick W. Lowe, Jr. Building

Danielson, CT ~ Thurs., May 3,
6:30 PM to 9:30 PM at Quinebaug Community College, 742 Upper Maple Street

when integrated with Doppler Radar and other data, can be critical in the issuance of severe weather warnings for our area. Together we can save lives and protect property, which is the main mission of the NWS.

SKYWARN was formed as a nationwide program in the early 1970s after a major tornado outbreak ravaged many areas of the U.S. Each NWS Forecast Office is responsible for the running of their local SKYWARN Program. Here in southern New England, approximately 2,500 volunteers have become official spotters

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Look for a NWS SKYWARN Spotter training session coming to a town near you this spring or early summer.
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If ever you spot a tornado or funnel cloud please give us a call as soon as it is safe to do so. Make sure you can see that it has a rotating motion. Be wary of look-alikes.
Medford, MA ~ Thurs., May 10,
7 PM to 10 PM, at Pfaff Center, 124 North St.

Braintree, MA ~ Thurs., May 24, 7 PM to 10 PM, at Braintree Town Hall, 1 JFK Dr.

Hillsborough, NH ~ Tue., May 30,
7 PM to 10 PM, at Hillsborough Community Hall, 27 School Street

Lowell, MA ~ Wed., May 29, 7 PM to 10 PM, at Crosspoint Tower, 1 Industrial Avenue

Other training sites still in the works at press time are:

Leominster, MA
Bristol, RI
Swanzy, NH

for the Taunton WFO. Because severe weather can strike anywhere, we are always looking for more spotters.

About one-third of the NWS-Taunton Spotters are also amateur radio operators. This dual role can be very helpful, especially when phone and power lines are down. Then amateur radio may be the primary means of communications.

SKYWARN Spotter volunteers also help us by reporting winter weather, flash flooding, coastal flooding, storm damage, as well as other events.

If you would like to become an official SKYWARN Spotter, attend any of this year’s training sessions conducted by the NWS. The training consists of a 3-hour slide and video presentation about cloud features associated with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Criteria and procedures for reporting hail, wind, and other damage to the NWS are discussed. All SKYWARN Spotters receive a newsletter at least once a year. Training sessions are held throughout Southern New England in late spring and early summer. To learn more about the latest training dates and locations, listen for announcements on NOAA Weather Radio; or, if you have Internet access, visit our home page at www.nws.noaa.gov/er/box and at the selection menu, under Skywarn Storm Spotters or Storm Spotters, click on Training for 2001; or give us a p
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