SkyWarn 2010 in Texas. What is the difference bettween the Basic and Advance class?

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StatuSChecKa

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SkyWarn is coming to Bell County, and There are two meetings on that day. Basic and Advance, anyone know what the difference is, or what it may be?
Thanks.
 

rdale

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Basic is just a generic intro to spotting. Advanced usually touches on how to use radar, less typical features you might see sometimes, etc.
 

SCPD

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Basic is two hours long, Advanced is 8 hours long and you still have to re-qualify each year regardless of which you take.
 

n5ims

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Assuming that these are the same classes done at the DFW HamCom, the Basic class has the basic information you need to identify severe weather (pretty much Skywarn 101) while the advanced class gives more details on how to predict when severe weather may develop (pretty much Skywarn 201). Hamcom also had a class called "Interpretation of Weather Radar Imagery" which gave information on how to understand the radar images in much more detail than the basic "my area's green so it must be raining and a red spot is heading my way so it will probably rain harder soon".

For some areas like the DFW area, the basic class is just that, the basic (minimum) information you need to be an effective storm spotter while the advanced class provides additional details that provide additional detail that was only summarized in the basic class as well as provides additional information into how a storm forms and becomes severe. The advanced class also touches on understanding and interpreting the weather balloon information available on the NWS web sites.

Other areas do things a bit differently though. Their basic class is shorter (2 - 4 hours long) and has the basic information (pretty much like the DFW basic class). Their advanced class is longer (4 - 8 hours long) and includes both the basic and advanced class information, but in a single class. The additional information in this format is provided right then instead of them saying "the advanced class discusses this in more detail".
 

StatuSChecKa

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n5ims thank you so much.
I still can not decide what class is right for me though. I'm leaning towards Basic. I'm just seeking info for fun, not a profession. They are both open to the public correct?
 

rdale

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Yes - really. Just click the link for his Skywarn county training and you'll see.

I'm leaning towards Basic.
Well, you have to take basic to get any value out of advanced. So just consider how much of your Saturday to give up. There's no harm in doing it all, you just may not learn anything from advanced until you've spent time looking at the sky with your basic training.

They are both open to the public correct?
Yes - all NWS Skywarn programs are free and open.
 

SCPD

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Incorrect Data rdale. I took the SKYWARN Basic Spotter course (Again) Feb. 2, 2010 We started at 7:00pm we recessed for a 15 min. break at 8:00pm and got our certificates handed to us at 9:05pm as we exited the building. This was the same in 2009 when Gary Woodall contacted the class. so reguardless of what the skywarn page says, the BASIC class was 2 hours long two years in a row!
 

rdale

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Incorrect Data rdale.... so reguardless of what the skywarn page says, the BASIC class was 2 hours long two years in a row!
Are you serious?

Click the link to the NWS Skywarn training page for the FWD office:

NWS

The class you went to was simply the 2 hour training. The Saturday sessions have a morning basic session, and advanced in the afternoon. It really isn't that complicated to interpret, but if you want to turn this into a debate you'll need to come with a little better ammunition ;)
 

mikebennett

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The BASIC only class is two hours long for MOST locations.

I think the confusion is with the all-day scheduled events such as Denton, Plano, etc. In addition to the morning BASIC class they throw in some media and local emergency management presentations which adds an hour or two to the BASIC presentation. The ADVANCED portion is then conducted in the afternoon sessions.

This is the format for the Fort Worth region which is not the same for other NWS regions/offices.
 
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