storm spotter training

I found this article by Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU. He does a weekly online column on and has publish a number of books on packet radio and APRS. I really enjoy reading his weekly column and found this article in Stan’s archives.

Surfin’:Spotting Extreme Weather

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor March 4, 2005

This week we visit a Web site where you can learn a lot about the weather. So much so that afterwards you can consider joining the ranks of Amateur Radio weather spotters.

Reporting weather conditions is Amateur Radio public service at its finest. As spring approaches (none too soon in these parts), the thunderstorm and tornado season also looms in many parts of the nation. So, it is apropos that we check out a Web site that deals with the observation of extreme weather.

Comprehensive storm spotting training can be had at the National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Spotter Training Web site.

Old friend John Nelson, K0IO, sent me a link to a slide presentation on storm spotter training that was put together by the National Weather Service (NWS) in Des Moines, the folks who operate K0DMX. Who is better qualified to educate us on weather than the NWS?

The slide presentation is excellent and I learned a lot perusing the 219 slides that compose the presentation. For example, the "Look Alike" portion of the presentation taught me that those funnel-shaped clouds I saw on vacation in Florida once upon a time were not necessarily tornadoes; the lesson learned is that a funnel-shaped cloud is a "tornado" only if it is rotating. I also learned about weather conditions I had never heard about before, for example, land spouts, gustnadoes, and mammatus clouds.

Until next week, keep on surfin’.

Editor’s note: Back when he was in grade school, Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, built a homebrew manually operated low-tech rain gauge. Now he maintains a fully automatic high-tech weather station at WA1LOU-15. To talk about the weather (and do nothing about it), e-mail Stan.

Page last modified: 02:41 PM, 03 Mar 2005 ET Page author: awextra@arrl.orgCopyright © 2005, American Radio Relay League, Inc. All Rights Reserved.