Chesapeake Bay's Independent Newspaper ~ Since 1993
1629 Forest Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403 ~ 410-626-9888

Volume xviii, Issue 6 ~ February 11 - February 17, 2010

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Trained Eyes on the Skies

National Weather Service wants you to be a spotter

Weather is almost always in the news, be it winter’s record-setting snows, spring’s floods or summer’s severe thunderstorms. Aiding the National Weather Service in identifying these dangers is a battalion of trained volunteer weather spotters — regular citizens scattered across the region who communicate what they see to the pros at the National Weather Service.

Established by the National Weather Service, skywarn® trains volunteers to provide timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Sterling Virginia. The weather spotters identify and describe local severe weather, which aided by Doppler radar, satellites and other data, helps the National Weather Service issue warnings for nasty weather.

The Basics I class is the introductory course and prerequisite for all other courses. It covers the organization of the National Weather Service; the role and importance of the Spotter; National Weather Service products and the watch/warning advisory system; thunder storms and threats; how to report vital information to the National Weather Service; the role of amateur short-wave HAM radio in the spotter program.

Interested in joining the force? The Calvert County Department of Public Safety hosts a skywarn® Weather-Spotting training course on from 7 to 9:30pm Feb. 22, at the Calvert County Fairgrounds. Register with Calvert County Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management: 410-535-1600; 301-855-1243 x 2638; e-mail oem@co.cal.md.us.

–Margaret Tearman

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