WGARS members turned out in force for the 2017 SKYWARN training program put together by the Carroll County Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service. Not only did members have the chance to take the SKYWARN training, but county EMA Director Tim Padgett arranged, and participated in, a tour of the 911 center and new EOC facility. Those who didn't attend missed an educational and interesting evening.
SKYWARN is the National Weather Service's (NWS) citizen spotter training program, open to broad participation. Carroll County, as a "Storm Ready" county holds SKYWARN classes approximately every two years. Amateur Radio has a special relationship with the National Weather Service as the NWS utilizes amateur radio operators at their facilities to communicate with amateur radio storm spotters in the field during severe weather events.
For those who participated in these training sessions the information provided below will be great for review; for those that have not, or can not, participate in the training classes, the NWS provides online training, testing, and certification. However, it is strongly recommend that a SKYWARN class be taken when opportunity permits.
First, the NWS links to a basic spotter training course for those that wish to take it. In addition, there's the spotter guidebook for reference.
Although snow is uncommon in our region, we can usually count on at least one snow event in any given year, and the NWS very much likes to collect showfall data to assist them in building better prediction models. Please consider preparing for snowfall measuring by reviewing this manual.
So, once you've got training out of the way, you'll need a way to report. Of course, we'll likely have a net running on the W4FWD repeater, which the NWS often contacts to collect information. Additionally, you can submit information online in numerous ways, including phone.