Author Topic: Going to NWS Weather Spotter Training, what to expect?  (Read 1672 times)

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Offline ggsteve

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Going to NWS Weather Spotter Training, what to expect?
« on: May 02, 2016, 10:16:33 AM »
3 of us here at the high school are going to NWS weather spotter training later this week.  I'm not quite sure what to expect.  Does anyone here have personal experiences with this training?  I'd like to hear them.
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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Going to NWS Weather Spotter Training, what to expect?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2016, 11:35:27 AM »
Well, first the presenters will fling a handful of Ice at everybody, to see who ducks...  :twisted:

...seriously.. Spotter safety will be a primary emphasis throughout...
...probably some video, PP presentations, verbal information, Q&A, how to report, what to report, ... you'll have info on cell and cloud types and formations, to one degree or another, how to recognize wall clouds, difference between scud and funnels, etc. etc,....
... some forms to fill out, perhaps some good coffee and maybe a cookie, depending on host...

Afterwards a test will be administered, and those that don't pass will be tied up, and staked out in Kansas or Oklahoma from June 1 thru Aug 31 for on the job re-training.  :roll:
Enjoy!!!  ...and welcome.  You'll learn a lot.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 11:38:26 AM by Cutty Sark Sailor »

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Offline ggsteve

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Re: Going to NWS Weather Spotter Training, what to expect?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2016, 12:45:43 PM »
Well, first the presenters will fling a handful of Ice at everybody, to see who ducks...  :twisted:

...seriously.. Spotter safety will be a primary emphasis throughout...
...probably some video, PP presentations, verbal information, Q&A, how to report, what to report, ... you'll have info on cell and cloud types and formations, to one degree or another, how to recognize wall clouds, difference between scud and funnels, etc. etc,....
... some forms to fill out, perhaps some good coffee and maybe a cookie, depending on host...

Afterwards a test will be administered, and those that don't pass will be tied up, and staked out in Kansas or Oklahoma from June 1 thru Aug 31 for on the job re-training.  :roll:
Enjoy!!!  ...and welcome.  You'll learn a lot.

As I understand it, the weather spotter corporate jet is down for maintenance, so up here in the Northeast they plan to lash us to the porch of a home on Plum Island that will be swallowed up by the next ocean storm with an astronomical high tide.
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Wunderground: https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KMATOWNS8#history
https://rainwise.net/weather/steve01474
http://www.pwsweather.com/obs/MORSE1.html
http://www.awekas.at/en/instrument.php?id=12597
CWOP: http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/wxpage.cgi?call=EW7173
CoCoRaHS: MA-MD-47
Skywarn Spotter ID: 16-266
Bloomsky Sky2

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Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Going to NWS Weather Spotter Training, what to expect?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2016, 04:33:07 PM »
You should be able to take most of, if not the entire session on the web.  Check your local WFO site for a link.

At the very least, you'll get a better idea of what is involved.

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Offline ValentineWeather

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Re: Going to NWS Weather Spotter Training, what to expect?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2016, 05:36:03 PM »
The online is offered free, but if they are coming to your area I would go. You miss out on tall tales & personal stories vs the online course. Most here will breeze through it, being it's very basic with primary goal of safety, what and how to report. 
Randy

Offline Jumpin Joe

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Re: Going to NWS Weather Spotter Training, what to expect?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2016, 06:55:09 PM »
Well, first the presenters will fling a handful of Ice at everybody, to see who ducks...  :twisted:

...seriously.. Spotter safety will be a primary emphasis throughout...
...probably some video, PP presentations, verbal information, Q&A, how to report, what to report, ... you'll have info on cell and cloud types and formations, to one degree or another, how to recognize wall clouds, difference between scud and funnels, etc. etc,....
... some forms to fill out, perhaps some good coffee and maybe a cookie, depending on host...

Afterwards a test will be administered, and those that don't pass will be tied up, and staked out in Kansas or Oklahoma from June 1 thru Aug 31 for on the job re-training.  :roll:
Enjoy!!!  ...and welcome.  You'll learn a lot.

As I understand it, the weather spotter corporate jet is down for maintenance, so up here in the Northeast they plan to lash us to the porch of a home on Plum Island that will be swallowed up by the next ocean storm with an astronomical high tide.

No, they will take you to purgatory chasms in Worcester county.... It's closer to home.

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Offline DaleReid

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Re: Going to NWS Weather Spotter Training, what to expect?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2016, 08:03:19 PM »
Randy,
I had signed up for a class at WCCO Channel 4 in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, but they had far more applicants than anticipated and I was too late to get my foot in the door.

So when you mentioned an on-line class (always willing to learn) I went searching and despite Google's best, all I could find was a PDF from the NWS.

Is this what you were referring to, or is there another Computer Based Training type of thing that one can step through, have multiple choice questions, feed back on wrong answers, etc?

Just looking for the whole shebang if there is one.

Dale
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Offline chief-david

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Re: Going to NWS Weather Spotter Training, what to expect?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2016, 08:13:59 PM »
it has been a few years since I attended. Should probably go again.

They told us what to report, what not to.  Good training on good and bad clouds
How not to approach a storm.

Our focused a lot on those with HAM radio licenses. In the city, there are a lot of spotters. but not many with HAM radio.
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Offline DaleReid

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Re: Going to NWS Weather Spotter Training, what to expect?
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2016, 09:07:31 PM »
It seems that most of the spotters around here have been hams, too.  With pretty dependable radios in various bands and power out capabilities, they do a lot of stuff.  They have been pretty active since I moved here almost 40 years ago.

I usually had them get exclusive use of the one repeater that I was in charge of, with the club's permission, which meant it was a reliable place to tune to in order to listen in on what they were seeing in the area.  My job didn't allow dropping things and heading out, sort of like volunteer fire fighters, I guess.

Anyway they reported a lot of storms.  Sometimes it seemed the guys were a wee bit too anxious to get out, and the more experienced members did calm the waters a bit.

Anyway, I'd just like to know more about the cloud formations and dispel any old myths I have.
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Offline kcidwx

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Re: Going to NWS Weather Spotter Training, what to expect?
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2016, 10:25:30 PM »
I taught the classes locally many years ago and yes most are hams that attend. I biggest issues I've run across during spotter activation is spotters reporting things over the radio that are irrelevant to severe weather. Like saying I'm out at such and such location and the sky is dark off to the west. Not necessary. It's a constant battle all season long to keep reminding folks on what to report.

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Offline ValentineWeather

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Re: Going to NWS Weather Spotter Training, what to expect?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2016, 11:08:09 PM »
Randy,
I had signed up for a class at WCCO Channel 4 in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, but they had far more applicants than anticipated and I was too late to get my foot in the door.

So when you mentioned an on-line class (always willing to learn) I went searching and despite Google's best, all I could find was a PDF from the NWS.

Is this what you were referring to, or is there another Computer Based Training type of thing that one can step through, have multiple choice questions, feed back on wrong answers, etc?

Just looking for the whole shebang if there is one.

Dale

The online course is here   https://www.meted.ucar.edu/training_course.php?id=23ere.

Some offices require additional training, its up to the office. My office had a direct link before but noticed its now gone.
Randy

Offline LFWX

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Re: Going to NWS Weather Spotter Training, what to expect?
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2016, 11:12:10 PM »
I'm sure each WFO is different, mine (ILN) does it this way...

Basic spotter classes, originally one or more in each county, but budget cuts have forced them to combine a few counties.

Advanced spotter class, one each year after all the basic classes have been taught, the location rotates between Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus.

- It always starts with a very fast "recap" of the basic class (e.g. "this is a wall cloud, this a shelf cloud, this is scud, this is a flash flood, etc." with each slide shown as quickly as a person can talk - rather humorous).

- Then they will give several more technical presentations (reading a skew-t, Doppler radar theory and application, limitations of radar and resulting spotter importance, warning decision process with real world examples, etc).

- Last, and best, they play "Who Wants to be a Meteorologist" - a slide is shown (could be a photo, radar view, weather chart, short animation, etc.) and then someone is chosen at random to pick one of four possible answers to a question posed about the scenario. They are also given a few "lifelines" (poll the audience, 50/50 (eliminate two wrong answers) and phone a friend). The first few scenarios are very easy and then they get more complicated. I am always amazed that a few, which seem obvious to me (and the audience, if they poll them), end up stumping the person chosen, maybe the pressure gets to them and they can't think straight.
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