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Learn about Mississippi SKYWARN




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Mississippi SKYWARN® SKYWARN® is the program developed by the National Weather Service to recruit and train storm spotters. SKYWARN® spotters enhance the National Weather Service’s storm detection capabilities by identifying and reporting potentially dangerous weather conditions. The SKY-WARN® program has become an invaluable link in the NWS warning process.Despite all of the sophisticated technology used in a modern NWS office, forecasters still rely on storm spotters. Doppler radar may indicate that a storm may be producing large hail, damaging winds or even a tornado, but it cannot tell exactly what’s happening on the ground underneath the storm. Storm spotters, trained by NWS meteorologists, act as the eyes and ears of the NWS. Their reports, radar data, and other information result in the most timely and accurate warnings possible.SKYWARN® spotters across Mississippi come from all walks of life – law enforcement, fire or emergency management agencies and citizens interested in helping their communities. A large number of storm spotters are amateur radio operators, who volunteer their time and equipment to help the NWS detect and track severe storms.Amateur radio operators, or “hams”, will frequently operate radio equipment at the local NWS office, gathering reports from spotters in the field and relaying the data directly to NWS forecasters. SKYWARN® spotters are volunteers – they receive no compensation for their hard work. They do, however, have the satisfaction of knowing that their reports result in better warnings, which save lives. If you are not an amateur radio operator and still want to report information directly to the NWS, you can participate in the on-line spotter program.Go to for the Jackson area. Who is Eligible? The NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication, such HAM radio, to join the SKYWARN® program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter. How Can I Get Involved? You can participate in the SKYWARN® program in your area by attending a storm spotter training class to become a trained spotter. Each of the training sessions is free, lasts around two hours and covers the following concepts:

  • Information to report
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety
  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
Here’s the link to the National Weather Service office storm spotter training page for Jackson: contact one of the National Weather Service Offices listed below if you need more information about an upcoming SKYWARN® class. Jackson – Steve Wilkinson – (601) 939-2786Memphis, TN – Richard Okulski – (901) 544-0411Mobile, AL – Jeff Garmon – (251)-633-6443]]]]> ]]>

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