Public Information Statement
Statement as of 4:02 AM CST on February 17, 2013
...Severe weather awareness week in Tennessee starts today...
The National Weather Service along with local...County...and
state government agencies and the news media...across Tennessee
will be participating in severe weather awareness week from
Sunday...February 17 through Friday...February 22.
Each day during awareness week will focus on a different aspect of
Sunday February 17...begins the week with Skywarn (storm spotters).
Monday February 18...will highlight flooding and flash floods...
the number one weather killer in the United States.
Tuesday February 19...will emphasize lightning...one of the
underrated weather killers.
Wednesday February 20...will focus on tornado awareness and will
serve as tornado drill day.
Thursday February 21...will be devoted to severe thunderstorms.
Friday February 22...is NOAA Weather Radio day and emergency alert
Severe weather awareness week begins today with a look at Skywarn...
Skywarn is a program developed by the National Weather Service to recruit
and train storm spotters. Skywarn spotters enhance the National Weather
Service storm detection capabilities by identifying and reporting potentially
dangerous weather conditions. The Skywarn program has become an invaluable
link in the National Weather Service warning process.
Despite all the sophisticated technology used in a modern National Weather
Service office...forecasters still rely on storm spotters. Doppler radar
may indicate that a storm may be producing large hail...damaging winds...
or even a tornado...but it cannot tell exactly what is happening on the
ground underneath the storm. Storm spotters...trained by the National
Weather Service meteorologists...act as the eyes and ears of the National
Weather Service. Their reports...radar data...and other information result
in the most timely and accurate warnings possible.
Skywarn spotters in middle Tennessee come from all walks of life...law
enforcement...fire or emergency management agencies...and citizens
interested in helping their communities. A large number of storm spotters
are amateur radio operators...who volunteer their time and equipment to
help the National Weather Service detect and track severe storms.
Amateur radio operators will frequently operate radio equipment at the
Nashville National Weather Service office...gathering reports from
spotters in the field and relaying the data directly to National Weather
Service forecasters. Skywarn spotters are volunteers...they receive no
compensation for their hard work. They do...however...have the satisfaction
of knowing that their reports result in better warnings which save lives.
Who is eligible to be a spotter? The National Weather Service encourages
anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication...such
as amateur radio...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...nursing homes...or
who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged
to become a spotter.
How can you get involved? You can participate in the Skywarn program in
middle Tennessee by attending a storm spotter training class to become a
trained spotter. Each of the training sessions is free...last around two
hours...and covers the following concepts...basics of thunderstorm
development...fundamentals of storm structure...identifying potential
severe weather features...information to report...how to report
information...and basic severe weather safety.
If you Need More information concerning the Nashville National Weather
Service upcoming Skywarn classes...contact Tom Johnstone...warning
coordination meteorologist...at 615...754...4634.