Today’s PDF is from the National Weather Service and is entitled, Be A Citizen Scientist. It is about being a storm spotter.
SKYWARN spotters provide essential information for all types of environmental hazards,
however, the main responsibility of a spotter is to report severe local storms. In an average year, the U.S. is affected by 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes. Where appropriate, spotters also are trained on warning signs for earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, volcanic ashfall, and coastal hazards such as tsunamis, water spouts and rip currents.
Since the program started in the 1970s, SKYWARN information, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite data and other resources, has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods.
SKYWARN storm spotters form the Nation’s first line of defense against severe weather. The efforts of these volunteers have given communities the precious gift of time–seconds and minutes that can help save lives.
Anyone with access to a telephone or HAM radio can join the SKYWARN program. Spotters can also submit reports through the internet on their local NWS Forecast Office web site. Spotters include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other citizens interested in weather. NWS encourages staff at hospitals, schools, churches, nursing
homes and other key locales to become a spotter