Archive for December, 2010

2011 PARC ARES SKYWARN Storm Spotter Training

Krissy Scotten will be presenting a SKYWARN certification class for the PARC ARES group on Tuesday March 8th 2011 at 19:30 at the AES Building at 1900 Line Avenue in Amarillo, TX. If you are unable to attend the SKYWARN Training scheduled for our ARES meeting, the 2011 Spotter Training Schedule is available here.

Skywarn® is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service’s (NWS) severe weather spotting program with nearly 290,000 trained volunteers nationwide. Since the late 1960s, trained Skywarn® spotters have helped support the NWS’ primary mission of protecting life and property through the issuance of severe weather warnings. These dedicated citizens help keep their local community safe by conveying severe weather reports to their local NWS Forecast Office. Skywarn® spotters are integral to the success of our Nation’s severe weather warning system.

Every year the NWS conducts Skywarn® spotter training sessions. The NWS currently has 122 Weather Forecast Offices across the nation, each with a Warning Coordination Meteorologist, who is responsible for administering the Skywarn® program in their local area. There is no charge and a typical class takes about 2 hours to conduct.

Storm Spotter certification is required every two years, but please consider attending this class even if your certification has not expired. We have some new personnel out at the Amarillo NWS, and this would be a great time to meet them. Additionally, Krissy Scotten, Warning Coordination Meteorologist NWS AMA, will be instructing our training and she has indicated that she will be putting together a more “robust” or “advanced” curriculum specifically for our group. If you are unable to attend this training, information on future spotter trailing classes will be posted here as information is available. If you are not currently a SKYWARN spotter and you are interested in joining our volunteer group you are welcome to attend this training as well.

SKYWARN® is a registered trademark of NOAA’s National Weather Service.  Rules for the usage of the SKYWARN® name and logo are available here.

For more information about SKYWARN, please click here.

If you are interested in joining ARES, please click here.

If you are interested in Amateur Radio, please click here.


The 2011 National Storm Conference

TESSA–The Texas Severe Storms Association

Saturday, March 12, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at Colleyville Center – Colleyville, Texas

The National Storm Conference is a full day of presentations from some of the top severe weather experts in the country. Storm spotters, chasers, forecasters, researchers, emergency managers and others gather at the conference for a day of learning and fun. It’s free and open to the public, so come and join us for the biggest event in Tornado Alley! The National Storm Conference is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. Arrive early, seating is limited.

For more information please visit http://tessa.org/


Storm Reports via Twitter

 You can now submit your significant weather observations to the National Weather Service (NWS) via Twitter.

Everyone talks about the weather.  Now’s your chance to “tweet” it and be heard.  Through an experimental program, the National Weather Service will be searching for tweets that contain significant weather information.

Why Twitter?

An advantage of searching Twitter for weather reports is the capability to utilize recently added “geotagging” — geographical information that is associated with something, in this case individual Tweets.  This allows the NWS to correlate each Tweet to its location when it was sent.  This capability will help to enhance and increase timely and accurate online weather reporting and communication between the public and their local weather forecast offices.  The reports will be carefully evaluated during the experiment to ensure quality and timeliness.

Who Can Participate?

Anyone with a Twitter account can participate.  Note: Trained storm spotters should use pre-established communication methods (Amateur Radio, toll-free line, eSpotter, etc.), when possible, to send severe weather reports to the NWS–although Twitter reports (photos) may be useful in addition to pre-established methods.

Here’s What You Need to Do:

If Geotagging is available on your 3rd party Twitter application:

  1. Make sure geotagging is turned on for your 3rd party Twitter app.
  2. Make sure geotagging is turned on for your Twitter account page.
  3. Submit your Tweet report via your 3rd party app in the following format:
    #wxreport your significant weather report

Some examples of weather report tweets with geotagging:

Ex. 1:   #wxreport 6.0″ of new snow as of 1 pm
Ex. 2:   #wxreport Hail 3/4 inch in diameter at 4:25 pm

If Geotagging is NOT available on your 3rd party Twitter application (or you want to use the web-based Twitter.com):

  1. Log into your Twitter account via the web or mobile device.
  2. Submit your tweet report in the following format:
    #wxreport  WW  your location WW  your significant weather report
  3. Your location can be just about anything, but the more specific the better.  Here are some examples listed from most accurate to least accurate location identification:
    • Most accurate–A latitude and longitude:
      WW 44.231, -88.485 WW
    • An address:
      WW 2485 S Point Rd, Green Bay, WI 54313 WW
    • A street intersection:
      WW intersection of Holly St and N 4th St, Perry, OK WW
    • A city name:
      WW Ft Lauderdale, FL WW
    • Least accurate–A zip code:
      WW 53221 WW

Some examples of weather report tweets without geotagging:

Ex. 1:   #wxreport WW 1289 W Oakridge Circle, St Louis, MO WW 6.0″ new snow as of 1 pm
Ex. 2:   #wxreport WW 44.115, -88.595 WW Hail 3/4 inch in diameter at 4:25 pm

What You Can Report

You can tweet any weather event that occurs in your local area, but we are most interested in significant events: snowfall, severe weather, flooding, etc.  In particular:

  • Damage from winds–briefly describe what was damaged and time it occurred.
  • Hail–include size of hail and time it fell.
  • Tornadoes or funnel clouds.
  • Flooding–briefly describe what is occurring.
  • Snowfall during an event and storm total.  When reporting snowfall, include the time period when it fell.
  • Freezing rain or freezing drizzle producing a ‘glaze’ on objects or roads.
  • Dense fog restricting visibility to less than a half mile.

Additional Guidance

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The purpose of this project is to allow people to submit reports.  Please be responsible and respectful of the purpose.
  • Be as specific as possible when describing the weather report.
  • A valid Twitter user account is required to submit reports.  As such, use of this service constitutes an agreement to the terms of service of the provider. Go to: http://twitter.com/tos for more information
  • Interested in displaying tweets from the project on your own web page? The files you need are contained here (zip). See the “readme.txt” file included for more information.

Monitoring Your Reports

The following external (non-NWS) links will monitor #wxreport tweets (click the links below):

Note: Some #wxreport monitoring websites that plot the weather report on a map may not properly plot tweets that use the “WW” location tag.

If you have any questions or suggestions for the program, please contact Corey Pieper — corey.pieper@noaa.gov


Winter Weather Preparedness

With winter weather in the forecast, it seems as though this would be a good time for a reminder of a few simple safety tips that could save a life. Dress for the Season Wear loose, lightweight, warm clothes in layers. Trapped air insulates. Remove layers to avoid perspiration and subsequent chill. Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent, and hooded. Wear a hat. Half your body heat loss can be from the head. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves. Try to stay dry.

In Vehicles:

Plan your travel and check the latest weather reports to avoid the storm! Fully check and winterize your vehicle before the winter season begins.

Road Conditions Hotlines:

Texas Panhandle 1-806-468-1488
Texas 1-800-452-9292
Oklahoma 1-405-425-2385
New Mexico 1-800-432-4269
Colorado 1-303-639-1111
Kansas 1-800-585-7623

For Current Weather Conditions and Forecast: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ama/

Carry a Winter Storm Survival Kit:

  • Mobile phone, charger, batteries
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Knife
  • High-calorie, non-perishable food
  • Extra clothing to keep dry
  • Large empty can to use as emergency toilet. Tissues and paper towels for sanitary purposes
  • Small can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water
  • Sack of sand or cat litter for traction
  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Tool kit
  • Tow rope
  • Battery booster cables
  • Water container
  • Compass and road maps.
  • Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
  • Avoid traveling alone.
  • Let someone know your timetable and primary and alternate routes.

At Home and Work

Primary concerns are loss of heat, power and telephone service and a shortage of supplies if storm conditions continue for more than a day.

Have available:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Battery-powered NOAA Weather
  • Radio and portable radio to receive emergency information. These may be your only links to the outside.
  • Extra food and water. Have high energy food, such as dried fruit, nuts and granola bars, and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration.
  • Extra medicine and baby items.
  • First-aid supplies.
  • Heating fuel. Refuel before you are empty. Fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a winter storm.
  • Emergency heat source: fireplace, wood stove, space heater. Use properly to prevent a fire. Ventilate properly.
  • Fire extinguisher, smoke alarm. Test smoke alarms once a month to ensure they work properly.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of food, water and shelter.

On the Farm/Pets

  • Move animals to sheltered areas.
  • Shelter belts, properly laid out and oriented, are better protection for cattle than confining shelters, such
    as sheds.
  • Haul extra feed to nearby feeding areas.
  • Have water available. Most animals die from dehydration in winter storms.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of food, water and shelter.

 

For more information, please visit http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/ama/prepared/winterstorm.pdf


2011 National Severe Weather Workshop

March 3 – 5, 2011

Norman Oklahoma

Please join us in Norman for a unique and growing workshop focused on hazardous weather information-sharing, and discussions on the effective transmission of messages about meteorological risk. Emergency managers, weather enthusiasts, teachers, students, meteorologists, broadcasters, and vendors in threat alerting, sheltering, and communications will gather, present, and discuss inter-related topics about weather hazards in early March. Some of the subjects that will be highlighted during the 2011 National Severe Weather Workshop include:

  • Impacts of Hazardous Weather Events: Response and Recovery
  • The Role of Law Enforcement in Weather Emergencies
  • Progress in Prediction Technologies
  • Siren Policy
  • National Weather Service Products, Services, and Outreach
  • Weather Radar Technology Updates and Training
  • Media Relations
  • Psychological Impacts and Issues of Significant Weather Events
  • Weather Trade and Technology Expo

More information at: http://www.norman.noaa.gov/nsww/


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