The National Weather Service in Grand Forks will be hosting a SkyWarn spotter class Monday night, April 26, 2010 in Grafton, ND at 630 pm in the firehall. If you want to learn about how to detect and report severe weather to the NWS in Grand Forks, then this class is for you! Below is an explanation of the NWS SkyWarn program.
What is SKYWARN?
Skywarn (formed in the early 1970s) is the National Weather Service (NWS) program of volunteer severe weather spotters. Skywarn volunteers support their local community and government by providing the NWS with timely and accurate severe weather reports. These reports, when integrated with modern NWS technology, are used to inform communities of approaching severe weather. The focus of Skywarn (and of the NWS) is simple...to save lives and property.
Since the mid 1990s, the WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) has provided valuable information to area forecasters...with better detection of severe storm phenomena and more accurate and timely warnings. However, even with the advance in technology... "ground truth" is still a very important part of the warning process. "Ground truth" is what is actually occurring. Is the storm tornadic? Is it producing large hail? How about damaging winds? Most of the "ground truth" is provided by trained storm spotters (through Skywarn)...or the "eyes of the NWS."
Who Are SKYWARN Severe Weather Spotters?
SKYWARN spotters across North Dakota and Minnesota consist mainly of amateur radio operators, emergency response officials, and trained public responders. The vast majority of those involved are volunteers who provide this valuable public service. These Spotters donate their time and equipment to help us (the NWS) get warnings out to the public, and to get public reports of severe weather back to the NWS ...by any means possible.
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