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SKYWARN Training in Fulton Wednesday

Fulton — A SKYWARN spotter training seminar for people interested in providing reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service will be held Wednesday, March 17, at 7 p.m. at the Oswego County Branch Office Building on Route 481 in Fulton.

This training will be conducted by the Buffalo Forecast Office of the National Weather Service and is sponsored by the Oswego County Emergency Communicators/RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service). It is expected to last about two hours and is free.

SKYWARN is a national effort to save lives during severe weather emergencies with an expanding network of trained volunteer weather spotters. SKYWARN spotters support their local community and government by providing reports of severe weather directly to the National Weather Service in Buffalo through amateur radio or the NWS spotter hotline. The services performed by SKYWARN spotters have saved many lives, according to the NWS.

The National Weather Service has a number of devices for detecting severe thunderstorms. Included in these are Doppler radar, satellite, and lightning detection networks. “However, the most important tool for observing thunderstorms is the trained eye of the storm spotter,” a spokesperson for the Buffalo Forecast Office said. “By providing observations, SKYWARN spotters assist National Weather Service staff in their warning decisions and enable the National Weather Service to fulfill its mission of protecting life and property. Storm spotters are, and always will be, and indispensable part of the severe local warning program.”

The basic training offered March 18 provides a brief overview to the National Weather Service and its responsibilities, severe weather safety, and basic severe weather meteorology including how thunderstorms, severe thunderstorms, and tornadoes form.

Anyone is welcome to become a severe weather spotter for the National Weather Service. SKYWARN training is free and open to the public.
Further information is available by contacting Oswego County SKYWARN Coordinator Judy LaMay through the Oswego County Emergency Management Office at 315/591-9150, or by contacting the National Weather Service at (716) 565-0204, ext. 223. More information about SKYWARN is available on the Oswego County Emergency Communicators/RACES website, www.oswegoraces.org , and on the National Weather Service-Buffalo website, www.weather.gov/buf/spt.htm .