FROM THE FIELD
great advances in computer technology,
sometimes nothing quite compares to a first-hand report. We know where
its raining, and have computer
guidance on when or where it should flood, but we cannot tell if flooding
has already starting. Likewise, we know if its windy, but cannot tell if
the winds have toppled trees, caused power outages, or damaged structures.
However, since we're tasked with protecting life and property, we need
to know this type of information. Thus, we have a network of volunteers
called SKYWARN® spotters. Class participants take a 3 hour long introductory
course offered by us during which they are instructed on how to spot severe
weather, and when to report appropriate items- typically thunderstorm damage
during the spring and summer months and snowfall accumulations during the
winter. If interested in more details on the SKYWARN® program, visit our
SKYWARN® page by clicking here.
Obviously, all of our SKYWARN® observers
are weather enthusiasts. A good percentage of them are also amateur radio
operators. During large or major weather events, a ham radio operator comes
to the office to work the console pictured above, which is located at the
edge of the operations floor. Thus, we gain additional information on the
weather's impact in real time, helping us make warning decisions.