Storm Spotter Links

©Fernando Caracena 2020

I received a letter from a reader, from which the following is excerpted:

"I would just like to say a quick word of thanks! As a youth services librarian and educator, I've just finished up a terrific emergency preparedness, weather education and storm spotting lesson with a group of 11-14 year olds online, which we've been working on throughout these difficult months of social distancing and remote learning, and thought you might enjoy hearing that we were able to get some great use out of your weather resource links lists. We were even able to use some of this information for a mini-project last week! Thank you so much for sharing! To end a lesson I sometimes encourage my kids to do a little additional supervised research at home with their parents, so I hope you don't mind that one of our youngest, Amelia has also asked me if I could share an article that she and her father found together, which includes a great breakdown on thunderstorms and tornadoes, how storms develop, wind speed measurements, how to storm-spot, etc. I've included it below if you'd like to review! We noticed you don't have this one listed yet, but Amelia was actually the one to bring up that this could be something you might like to include for others who could also be coming across your information, like our group and their families! If you find you are able to use this one, would you please let me know? We're meeting Monday virtually, and I would absolutely love to surprise Amelia if you're able to do so - I'm hoping to keep spirits up in light of what's happening across the country right now, and I think it would make her day to know she was able to 'pay it forward' (we're pretty big on this in our children's library group) and maybe even show her father her contribution if it ends up being included!"

After reviewing the suggested link, I decided not to include it in this post, but instead provide additional links emphasizing storm spotting, which are added to the weather links page.

Storm spotters

NWS SKYWARN Storm Spotter Program

"Who is eligible and how do I get started?

NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service to join the SKYWARN® program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches and nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are encouraged to become a spotter. Ready to learn more? Find a class in your area. Training is free and typically lasts about 2 hours. You'll learn:

Basics of thunderstorm development
Fundamentals of storm structure
Identifying potential severe weather features
Information to report
How to report information
Basic severe weather safety

Here's how to take an online storm spotter training course

The SpotterNetwork "...brings storm spotters, storm chasers, coordinators and public servants together in a seamless network of information. It provides accurate position data of spotters and chasers for coordination/reporting and provides ground truth to public servants engaged in the protection of life and property."

Zoom Radar Interactive Weather

Has a web page that presents a view of the entire USA that includes weather radar, lightning displays and positions of storm spotters. The

The Storm Spotters' Handbook is put out by the Austrailian government. It has interesting graphics and presents information about severe storms.

Become A Storm Spotter From Home

Weather Glossary for Storm Spotters

A weather social network has running dialogues between weather freaks.

The National Severe Storms Laboratory has tornado information in a page called SEVERE WEATHER 101 Tornado Basics. It also puts out a storm spotter's podcast.

The city of Arvada, Colorado is cosponsoring storm spotter training for its residents. An online video depicts storm spotting activities of an Arvada family.

A web page by meteorologist Jeff Haby provides detailed information about available weather resources and interpretation of observations and forecasts. His site has a section on storm chasing.

An Arizona newspaper has an article online about how Civilian weather spotters [are] a boon to meteorologists .

Carolina storm spotters have put out a short video online titled, 2020 Year End Tease!

There is an interesting and informative video online for anybody wanting to become a storm spotter or a meteorologist. It is called Tornado and Storm Spotting Secrets.

A TV station has a video online called "Despite pandemic, hundreds of storm spotters attend online training".

Other severe weather phenomena are microbursts and flash flood producing storms. I participated in research in these two areas and we published a report entitled "Microbursts A Handbook for Visual Identification". I was one of a group of scientists at NOAA that did the original research on a nearly stationary thunderstorm that lingered over the watershed of the Big Thompson river in Colorado the evening of July 31, 1976. Over ten inches of rain fell in places on bare rocky terrain over a period of an hour, which brought on catastrophic flash flooding. Over one hundred people lost their lives in this event. See the USGS report on this event.

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