FORT WAYNE, Ind (FOX 55) -Whether it’s tornadoes or flash flooding, severe weather can happen any time of year and storm spotters are vital when severe weather happens.
Storm spotters play an important role in making sure we remain safe during severe weather. They may be the first ones out the door trying to get eyes on the storm.
The National Weather Service started their Skywarn program in 1965 to help train volunteers in ways to safely spot storms.
Those volunteers are recognized December 1st of every year by the NWS and ham radio operators, who make up a good portion of Skywarn storm spotters.
But why are the Skywarn storm spotters important? Well as mentioned earlier, while your FOX 55 Severe Weather Center team is in the weather center tracking storms, they’re often the first out the door trying to get eyes on the storm.
That information they are gathering is invaluable because those of us behind computers can’t see what’s actually going on on the ground because when we might see just radar scans, a rain wrapped tornado may be happening on the ground.
Skywarn spotters are trained to recognize various types of threats including rotation in clouds, funnel clouds, and tornadoes and how to report the information.
Reports often come back to the National Weather Service or to us to relay back, allowing the NWS to issue warnings when necessary.
The ultimate goal is to have 100% success rate when issuing warnings, but the National Weather Service can’t do that without the help of their Skywarn spotters.
To learn how to become a trained skywarn storm spotter, visit the following websites
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