National Weather Service seeks volunteers
A storm spotter training class is slated for 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, in the lower level of the Waupaca County Courthouse.
To obtain critical weather information, NOAA’s National Weather Service established Skywarn, a volunteer program with nearly 290,000 trained severe weather spotters.
These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.
Although Skywarn spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, their main responsibility is to identify and describe severe local storms.
In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States.
Since the program started in the 1970s, the information provided by Skywarn spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods.
NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication, such as a HAM radio, 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 who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter.
Training covers the following areas:
• Basics of thunderstorm development.
• Fundamentals of storm structure.
• Identifying potential severe weather features.
• Information to report.
• How to report information.
• Basic severe weather safety.
Classes are free, open to the public and typically last less than two hours. No advanced registration is required.
For more information, contact Eric Halverson, deputy director of Waupaca County Emergency Management, at 715-258-4464.