With all the modern technology at their disposal
the National Weather Service can only determine the potential for severe weather.
They must still rely on the public, law enforcement personnel,
and trained weather spotters for information as to what is really
happening at ground level.
Accurate and reliable info from the general public is often difficult to get.
Thats why the NWS has found that having trained weather spotters increases the
quality of the information they receive. Also with the Federal Government
cutting back on their budget and manpower the National Weather Service
must rely more on us to be their eyes in the field.
Severe weather can cause major civil disasters
as proven time and time again with heavy snowfall, massive flooding, and
of course Hurricane and Tornado damage we see on the news locally and through
out the country. The National Weather Service may utilize
the SKYWARN Amateur Radio operators
to maintain close coordination with the Red Cross and Emergency Management
through ARES/RACES. SKYWARN is formally acknowledged and encouraged in a
Memorandum of Understanding between the ARRL and the NWS. This agreement
states that the ARRL will encourage its local volunteers operating as ARES
to provide spotters as requested by the NWS during times of severe weather.
In this area of the country we receive our
weather forecast and warnings from the Mount Holly, NJ office of the NWS.
Mount Holly is responsible for 34 Counties in NJ, DE, MD and PA. They have
a close working relationship with the Weather Channel and a lot of what you
see on TV is provided by the NWS.