I’ve been wanting to take the class to become a Skywarn Spotter for at least a year since the first time I heard of it. I love anything related to the weather. In 1999 my house was hit by a tornado and since that time I’ve studied a lot about weather patterns so I will know if we should prepare for really bad weather. Our city now has a tornado siren which we didn’t have in 1999 when our tornado hit. I think the first thing you should do is check with your city to see if you have any type of warning siren in case a tornado is spotted. For researching the different weather sites on the internet I’m going to list them so you will have somewhere to start. WWW. Weather.gov Espotter.weather.gov and Gary.firstname.lastname@example.org start with these.
I completed my skywarn class last night and I learned so much. We learned about the Doppler radar and how important spotters are to the weather service. The class I was in was packed. There were no vacant chairs by the time the class started. They told the class how important we are to pass information along to the weather service. We were taught how to give exact directions and times for what we are witnessing. We learned about Funnel Clouds and Wall clouds along with strong or damaging winds. I never realized that 58 mile an hour winds are very damaging. I thought they had to be much stronger but we learned that 58 mile per hour winds are considered damaging.
In class they told us about Single cell, Multi cell Cluster and Super Cells. Super cells are big Thunderstorms with large hail, down bursts and tornadoes. These storms can regenerate. They talked about squall lines, rotations and scud clouds which by the way I had never heard of. You will finds this information to be very interesting. Lightning can be as far away as 20 miles from a storm. I would recommend everyone to take this class and volunteer to be a Skywarn spotter. They will give you so much priceless information and I will also say you may save a life and also learn about all the diffferent weather patterns.
They only offered one class in our area this year so if you are interested in becoming a spotter check to see if they are offering a class in your area.
Remember to listen to what your instructor says because it may come in handy during a very bad storm.