The primary purpose for the existence of the NWS is to provide warnings and forecasts for the protection of lives and property. With that in mind, the staff at the Grand Junction office has undergone intensive training to be fully prepared to issue warnings and statements for life-threatening weather events such as severe thunderstorms, flash floods, and winter storms. The Doppler radar and improved satellite imagery is providing much more accurate and timely weather information than has ever been available in eastern Utah and western Colorado.
One area of information which is just as important as Doppler radar and improved satellite imagery is reliable ground truth information. There are several ways of obtaining this type of data, but one of the fastest and most reliable sources is a volunteer weather spotter network. This network consists of folks who have an interest in weather and a desire to provide timely information to the NWS forecasters for use in warnings, forecasts, and climate statements.
Until a few years ago, such a network was virtually nonexistent in western Colorado. The emergence of a forecast office at Grand Junction prompted a call for weather spotters in western Colorado, as well as a need for more spotters in portions of eastern Utah. Despite our success in recruiting volunteer weather spotters, large areas remain in western Colorado and eastern Utah where weather spotters are needed to provide a more evenly distributed data source.
At this time, we could use more weather spotters in each of our 22 counties of responsibility , but especially in the counties of Daggett, Pitkin and Gunnison.
If you live in eastern Utah or western Colorado and would like to join our volunteer spotter network, please call our office at 970-243-7007 or email our Warning Coordination Meteorologist .