Skywarn weather-spotter training is March 25 at UTSA Main Campus

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(March 12, 2010)--The National Weather Service will present a seminar, "Skywarn: Advanced Training in Spotting and Reporting Hazardous Weather Conditions," from 9 to 10:30 a.m., Thursday, March 25 in the University Center Ballroom (1.106) on the UTSA Main Campus. The training session is free and open to students, faculty and staff interested in public service and access to communication.

Sponsored by the UTSA Office of Business Continuity and Emergency Management, College of Sciences and College of Engineering, the program helps foster a greater culture of preparedness and community awareness about severe weather. Representatives from the San Antonio Flood Emergency (SAFE) System and local crime prevention agencies will be on hand to provide safety and security information.

The instruction will include these topics:

  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
  • Information to report
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety

Americans live in the most severe weather-prone country on Earth. Each year, Americans cope with an average of 10,000 thunderstorms, 5,000 floods, 1,000 tornadoes and an average of two deadly hurricanes reaching landfall. This is in addition to the intense summer heat, high winds, wild fires and other deadly weather experienced in San Antonio and South Texas. Some 90 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related, leading to approximately 500 deaths each year and nearly $14 billion in damage affecting many Americans.

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Skywarn

Skywarn volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned citizens. The volunteers help keep communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service. Although they provide essential information regarding all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of a spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms and provide timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

Since the program started in the 1970s, the information provided by Skywarn spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled the NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings of tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods. Skywarn storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the nation's first line of defense against severe weather.