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Severe Weather Awareness Week: Skywarm storm spotters

5:10 PM, Mar 29, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND - March 25th through March 31st is Severe Weather Awareness Week across Ohio.

Each day this week, the National Weather will take a look at a specific subject related to severe weather.

Today's topic: Skywarn Spotters

Each year a dedicated group of volunteer weather spotters, called Skywarn, provide weather service offices across Ohio with important eyewitness information about tornadoes, flash floods and damaging thunderstorms.

Skywarn spotters are people with an interest in the weather and an interest in helping others. By far the largest number of Skywarn spotters in our part of the state are ham radio operators.

Amateur radio emergency groups and amateur radio clubs relay important information to emergency management and the weather service by radio.

The Cleveland Ohio weather office operates a Skywarn ham radio station whenever tornado watches or warnings are in effect across northern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania.

Volunteers at the Cleveland office broadcast radar information about the location of possible tornadoes and solicit reports from Skywarn hams in the area of concern.

New doppler weather radars can identify rotating thunderstorms - sometimes - even before a tornado touches ground. Still, Skywarn spotters are essential to confirm that tornadoes have touched down, to report on the extent of damage and to provide added details of a threat to a community.

If you are interested in becoming involved with Skywarn, please check out our web site at:

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/cle/skywarn/skywarn.html

If you are interested in ham radio, they can help you find a person or radio club in your area that will assist you in getting your ham radio license.

WKYC-TV/National Weather Service

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