Trained Weather Spotters

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NWI_Scanner_Guy

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Okay, what with all the nasty weather we've had moving thru the Chicagoland area the last couple of days, I've have about 4 different scanners going, covering different frequencies / areas, listening to the different skywarn nets. I noticed a lot of people calling in with weather reports, followed by their call sign and "trained weather spotter."

I guess I'm just curious as to what kind of training one has to go through to become a trained weather spotter? Is the average "Joe Ham" able to report during these severe weather nets, or is it just for the trained guys?

Thanks for any info you can provide.

SSSG

:D
 

steveh552

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Here in my neck of the woods, when a weather net goes on the air, ALL hams are able to contribute what they see to the net. I have never heard anyone say anything about being a certified spotter. This is my .2 cents, not sure how things are in your area.
 

Radio_Cowboy

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Down here in the counties covered by the St.Louis NWS, the NWS assigns you a spotter identification number after you have attended the spotter training course the NWS sponsors/puts on. Saying "trained spotter" during a report just tells them that you have had the training, so hopefully you won't be reporting a "tornado in the air" or a "Funnel cloud on the ground". They don't have time to verify your spotter number during a severe weather event, so it's just keeping the honest people honest, I guess.


Radio_Cowboy

A Trained Spotter.


YAY.
 

RadioWARE

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My wife and I just went through spotter training. It's a 3-4 hour course conducted by NOAA and is an annual training. At the end you get a card with a spotter number to log reports and also the numbers and logon for reporting via internet and phone. Half of the 100 or so people were hams the other half were not which I found extremely interesting. I expected them ALL to be Hams. Highly recommended, very heavy on weather and cloud formation as well as storm types. Have fun!

Link for your area http://www.crh.noaa.gov/crnews/display_story.php?wfo=lot&storyid=11936&source=0"
 

jleverin

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I am in CO and just took the Skywarn spotter class back in April. It is basically a 2 hour basic course on the NWS and how they monitor storms and how storms operate and what to look for in severe weather when one is a spotter. Then there was an optional extra 2 hours that got more in depth into severe weather like how tornadoes develop and such. I was only able to stay for the 2 hour lecture because I had to work early the next day. But the NWS does have the same training available online for people to take as well. I was able to complete the online portion and get some additonal information. During the two hour session they ask you to fill out a questionnaire as to your location and background(ie if you're a ham operator or not etc.) and return it to them so they can send you your spotter number and keep you in the local database of spotters. Most of the people in the class I went to were hams but myself and a few others were not. The guy told us it really wasn't necessary to be a ham radio operator unless you use the 2meter band to call in your reports, that the most common way of reporting storms is with a cell phone.
 
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I've noticed here in Champaign County, that the severe weather always seems to arrive in the county after dark.

It occours to me that the spotters that go out in their cars and sit near the county line in the dark as potentially severe storms move in are taking a significant risk, no?
 

k9swx

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I've noticed here in Champaign County, that the severe weather always seems to arrive in the county after dark.

It occours to me that the spotters that go out in their cars and sit near the county line in the dark as potentially severe storms move in are taking a significant risk, no?
I monitored this a few weeks ago on 444.100 when we had a tornado warning for the county. The net control op was keeping everyone informed with radar updates. I think at one point they told one of the spotters to move or be ready to move as the doppler indicated rotation was bearing down on them. But yes, we always seem to get the leftover crap at night. :) Maybe Friday we will get something during daylight hours??
 
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It just seems pretty dangerous in the dark like that. Especially once you are outside of CU a little ways, it is DARK out here in the country.
 

PhilJSmith67

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I have a feeling it's not as dangerous as it sounds. Think about it -- At least the spotter is wide awake an has a pretty good clue about what's headed their way, as opposed to people sound asleep at home. Even at night, a spotter might be better prepared and ready to react, even if they don't have basement to scurry to.
 

RoninJoliet

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PhilJSmith is correct, ham radio trained spotters are un-sung hero's, there out in the fields putting there lives on the line to keep people in there respective county's safe and alerted to tornadic weather....The hams in a county just southwest of mine are very professional and actually are the "eye's" of the NWS here in Romeoville.... The Romeoville NWS is in touch with them via ham radio, there the best i have ever heard....
 

jleverin

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Spotting is not like chasing storms, the NWS emphasizes in spotter training not to put oneself in danger. We usually are just to call in something if we happen to be in the area or to park in a area out of danger. Some spotters even spot from home. Of course if the storm comes to you.......
 

PhilJSmith67

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PhilJSmith is correct, ham radio trained spotters are un-sung hero's, there out in the fields putting there lives on the line to keep people in there respective county's safe and alerted to tornadic weather....The hams in a county just southwest of mine are very professional and actually are the "eye's" of the NWS here in Romeoville.... The Romeoville NWS is in touch with them via ham radio, there the best i have ever heard....
During the recent tornado which ripped through Will County into lower Cook, I was listening to the area hams. It's great being able to hear up-to-the-second accounts of exactly what is going on. These spotters were doing a spectacular, professional job.
 

NWI_Scanner_Guy

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During the recent tornado which ripped through Will County into lower Cook, I was listening to the area hams. It's great being able to hear up-to-the-second accounts of exactly what is going on. These spotters were doing a spectacular, professional job.
Amen. I was listening to them all day, and when the tornado looked like it was heading into NW Indiana, I jumped on the phone to let family members know. They were surprised I knew, when they hadn't seen anything on the TV yet. I had to chuckle at that one. I told them where do you think the NWS is getting their information from; the hams! :D

SSSG

:)
 
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