NWS Weather Spotter Training in Pinedale April 20
by National Weather Service
April 13, 2010
People interested in serving as volunteer weather spotters for the National Weather Service are encouraged to attend a free training session in Pinedale. Meteorologists from the Riverton NWS office will hold the two-hour Severe Weather Spotter Training class beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, in the Lovatt Community Room at the Sublette County Library.
The class is free of charge and open to all area residents interested in weather, thunderstorms, or public safety. Videos and digital images highlight the multimedia session intended to assist volunteers in learning to identify important thunderstorm characteristics, types of severe weather, weather safety, and reporting procedures. All course materials are provided and completion cards will be given to all volunteers. Current spotters are encouraged to attend the training as a refresher course.
Weather spotter volunteers are asked to relay reports of hazardous weather, such as hail, flash flooding, and tornadoes, to the NWS during active thunderstorm days. Organized in a partnership between the NWS and local county emergency management agencies, volunteer weather spotters play an integral role in assisting forecasters in the weather warning process, according to Chris Jones, warning coordination meteorologist at the Riverton NWS office.
"We have nearly 1,000 trained spotters in 11 counties across western Wyoming. Without their real-time ground truth reports it would be very difficult to verify exactly what type of weather is occurring with a thunderstorm," Jones said. "Radar and satellite are tremendous tools, but they cannot take the place of people reporting to us what is actually occurring on the ground. Reports from trained volunteer weather spotters assist us in identifying likely locations of future storm damage and providing more detailed warning information for the public. Simply put, this network helps us better perform our core mission of protecting lives and property."
Additional information on storm spotting is available on the local National Weather Service website at http://www.weather.gov/riverton or by calling the Riverton office at (800) 211-1448.