On November 14, Jon Hitchcock, senior forecaster of the Buffalo office of the National
Weather Service, provided the members and guests of the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) with a SKYWARN training session on winter weather.
This training provided information for our spotters on winter weather definitions, typical weather patterns that bring winter weather to Central New York along with some of the greatest weather hazards, how to measure snowfall accurately, greatest winter hazards and, of interest to everyone, the real facts in regard to 2011-2012 “Winter that Wasn’t.”
Snowfall measuring, both new and accumulated, was reviewed and suggested methods of measurement were given so as to produce uniform and accurate statistics to the Weather Service.
Our trained spotters have worked with the NWS for years reporting summer storms but winter also brings a different kind of weather hazard that the NWS would like input on.
Jon briefed the group on when to report significant conditions.
Timing and accuracy helps the Weather Service to determine if Watches or Warnings need to be revised to reflect the “ground truth” that is being reported.
Anyone interested in the Skywarn program can contact Judy LaMay, KC2SUM, the Oswego County OCEC/RACES Skywarn Coordinator, though the Emergency Management Office in Fulton.