May 28, 2009
Have you ever wanted to learn how meteorologists predict storms? On Wednesday, June 3rd the National Weather Service will be teaching a SKYWARN storm spotter class here in Central Virginia. This is an opportunity to become a part of the weather forecasting process during extreme weather.
SKYWARN is a national network of volunteer severe weather spotters, trained by the National Weather Service to report severe thunderstorms, hail, flooding, and even snow and ice accumulation.
Greene County Sheriff Scott Haas says, "You can give information to the National Weather Service of an event that has just occurred or they will call you and say, we saw something on the radar, we saw something that we think may have been something, what did you see?"
These "ground truth" reports are combined with radar and satellite data to better forecast how a storm is developing or what kind of damage it could cause down the road. "It was really important to us when we had a tornado because we had the possibility of a second tornado coming, and with the training we were able to look at the sky and see it in a different way than before, without the training." says Haas.
SKYWARN training classes are free and anyone can participate as long as you are at least 14 years old, and have access to a telephone, Internet, or amateur radio. Haas adds, "I think in today's world, if we have a changing weather pattern, any time that you can be more prepared yourself for a weather event it's a positive."
So if you have a knack for weather or just want to help out the community take the SKYWARN storm spotters class. It's this Wednesday, June 3rd at 6:30 pm at the Four Seasons in Ruckersville. If you want to sign up give them a call at 434-990-2012 and ask for the wts representative.
For more information about the national SKYWARN program visit www.skywarn.net.
For a list a more training sessions visit www.erh.noaa.gov/er/lwx/skywarn/classes.html
Fluvanna and Louisa Counties visit www.erh.noaa.gov/akq/spotterinfo/skywarn.htm
Buckingham County visit www.erh.noaa.gov/rnk/Skywarn.html