|Jennings County Amateur Radio Association
Jennings County, Indiana
Severe Weather Spotters
Skywarn is a program established by the National Weather Service (NWS) in the 1970s with a goal of obtaining critical weather information during times of severe weather. Skywarn works with local organizations and private citizens who have a desire to serve their communities. Skywarn volunteers receive training in severe storm identification and evolution, and when severe weather threatens, they become "storm spotters", reporting information in real-time to the local NWS office. Storm spotters are the nation's first line of defense against severe weather, and they know that their efforts may ultimately help to save lives. Their information, when combined with sophisticated technology such as Doppler radar, satellite and lightning displays, helps NWS meteorologists in their primary mission ... the issuance of warnings and advisories for the protection the protection of life and property.
The National Weather Service encourages anyone with an interest in public service and access to some type of communication (amateur radio, telephone, computer, cell phone) to join the Skywarn program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes or those with a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become storm spotters.
Storm spotters are usually trained by National Weather Service personnel to "spot" severe storm signatures. Skywarn volunteers learn about storm structure, cloud types that accompany thunderstorms, severe weather safety, how a severe thunderstorm is defined and the types of weather events that qualify for reporting. The combination of radar technology in the NWS office and human observers near or beneath the storms provide NWS Meteorologists with the best information for the issuance of warnings and followup statements. In addition, spotter reports ultimately become part of a national historical record of severe weather events and appear in the publication "Storm Data".
Please visit the NWS Spotter Training Classes for more information and schedules for the training.