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Tuesday, June 21, 2005


There was at least one question about one of my serious stickers. All my
stickers ARE serious, I selected them for a reason.

I am talking about my Skywarn sticker. Skywarn is a real program sponsored by the National Weather Service. The NWS does a pretty good job, and they have access to all sorts of high tech gizmos -but gizmos are not always enough. They still need human spotters.

This is where Skywarn comes into play. It would cost a left testicle to hire
enough NWS staff to cover all the spotting needs. So, the NWS uses volunteers.
Skywarn spotters are NOT those crazy people that try to get as close to tornados
as possible, all they do is report what they happen to see. The professional
storm chasers are scientists, the amateur chasers are adrenaline junkies.
Skywarn spotters are just regular people with cell phones that have the bat line
to the local NWS office in case they see something.

The NWS provides a training class to all volunteers, where they teach you
what to look for. The class takes one day, and it is very interesting. You learn
what to look for in clouds that might warn of a tornado getting ready to spawn.
You can then call the NWS office, and they will watch the doppler radar where
you are. They might even issue a warning, because you called in. That warning
might give someone enough time to get into a safe place before the twister hits.

Many Skywarn spotters are ham radio operators, but it is NOT required. You
can phone in your reports. If you want to learn more about Skywarn in your area,
contact the local office of the National Weather Service nearest to you.


Blogger jevanking™ said...

That's really interesting. They always say on TV that they hear chatter from HAM radio operators regarding tornados and such. I've had no training, yet I know that a wall cloud is bad news and a funnel cloud with a green sky is even more bad news.

I wish I could do something like that. Maybe when I don't work prime storm hours in the afternoon.

Blogger Fred said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Blogger Fred said...

Good information. Wy wife calls me a "weather nerd"; I may have to check this out!

Anonymous Dog Face Girl said...

I hate to be personal and like that, oh, no I don't. Do you have a sticker fetish like Bar of Soap has a Suds fetish and Quentan Tarantino has a foot fetish?

Blogger GodlessMom said...

My mom worked for the NWS for almost 40 years. Over the course of her career she took many phone calls from volunteers that resulted in severe weather warnings. To this day she always goes around with half an eye on the sky.

Cool information!

Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Very good information to have. Thank so much!

Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

Nice post. I'm a bit of a weather watcher. I love storms. I'm nuts, I guess.

Blogger actonbell said...

Yep, that does sound like an interesting one-day course.

Blogger A Little Bar of Soap said...

Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

Job 38:9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,

Job 38:10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,

Job 38:11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?

Job 38:12 Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;

Job 38:13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?

Job 38:22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,

Job 38:23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?

Job 38:24 By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?

Job 38:25 Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;

Job 38:26 To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;

Job 38:27 To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?

Job 38:28 Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?

Job 38:29 Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?

Job 38:35 Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Get a Job.

Blogger jevanking™ said...

No shit.

Blogger A Little Bar of Soap said...

I don't appreciate your attitude! I was hit number 1007 on the counter. I like the number 7... very Christian.

Blogger Econo-Girl said...

Skywarn sounds like a really cool thing to get your kid into.

I just spent the weekend with two juvenile delinquents and they would love something like that!



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