The National Weather Service is recruiting volunteer weather spotters

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From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):

If, for example, you look at the latest updated table of seasonal snowfall totals for the year-to-date compiled by the Boulder office, you’ll find statistics from Nederland and Niwot, Broomfield, St, Mary’s Glacier and Evergreen, but not a single reading from Summit or Eagle County. Spotter reports are especially important in the mountains because the Doppler radar system has a hard time making accurate readings in the rugged topography of the Rockies.

So instead of complaining about how wrong the Denver-based TV forecasts are, consider becoming a volunteer for the spotter program. “We always need more help in data-sparse regions. Summit county is fairly void of spotters except maybe a half dozen. I haven’t had anybody who wanted to do this. You will see other void counties in the mountains, like Jackson and Grand counties,” said Scott Entrekin, who coordinates the program. Volunteers don’t need specialized equipment, but do have to attend one of the spotter training classes, several of which are scheduled around the Front Range during the next few months.

From the National Weather Service:

Colorado All-Season Spotter Team

Weather reports from spotters will help save lives and property during the years to come. The volunteer spotter team is an essential part of the warning decision process of the National Weather Service. Ground truth reports from spotters are used in conjunction with Doppler radar, satellite, and other sources to determine the need for weather warnings and advisories.

We are continuously recruiting spotters living in Northeast Colorado, and across the Northern mountains, Front Range Foothills, and high mountain valleys. If you are a weather enthusiast and enjoy measuring rain and snowfall, or you find yourself drooling at the bit for severe weather, this team is for YOU! Folks living in mountain locations such as Jackson, Grand, Summit, Larimer, and Park counties are especially needed!

Typical reports you would provide include; snowfall, snow depth, freezing rain, dense fog, high winds, and road conditions. Examples of summertime weather reporting would include information on tornadoes, hail, heavy rainfall and flooding. A dedicated, toll free number is available to call the National Weather Service in Boulder, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Reporting can also be done on your computer via the Denver/Boulder Home page to submit weather reports.

You can be involved in the Spotter Team! Here’s what’s involved:

– To become a member of the team you must attend one of the severe weather/spotter training classes which are offered in the Spring and early Summer. We will usually start posting training sites and times in late January and February with the link. http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/?n=spot_training
– You must be at least 18 years old to participate in the program. However, we do encourage children and youth to help adults, while learning the science of meteorology.
– Once you have been trained, you will receive your own spotter number and information sheets on how to report.
– We recommend refresher training every 2 years once you have been initially trained.
-Supplemental Skywarn training is available through COMET at https://www.meted.ucar.edu/training_course.php?id=23
-No Special equipment is needed!
-For current members, updated information and changes on the program can be found on our web page, via the “news of the day” at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=bou&storyid=63779&source=0

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