A large contingent of the DCARES membership is qualified to support the National Weather Service (NWS) through the Skywarn program. Formed in the 1970s as a volunteer program, Skywarn now has over 290,000 trained severe weather spotters.
The 122 local Weather Forecast Offices of the NWS coordinate and provide training classes to equip weather spotters with basic understandings of severe weather development and progression, safety, and reporting standards. Skywarn-trained spotters are then able to provide real-time observations during severe weather events to NWS forecasters, thereby enhancing their ability to issue timely alerts to our communities. Although any person may become a trained Skywarn spotter, amateur radio operators have the added benefits of radio communication equipment and networks to efficiently channel information from the spotters to the NWS office. In fact, the working relationship between the NWS and the American Radio Relay League is well established and is formally documented in a Memorandum of Understanding. The NWS office serving Nashville and Davidson County has an amateur radio station on premises as well as a licensed amateur on staff.
For more information about Skywarn see http://www.skywarn.org or look for Skywarn spotter training classes in Middle Tennessee at Skywarn spotter training classes
Skwarn and the Skywarn logo are registered trademarks of the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, used with permission.