Citizen Science Forecasting Severe Weather

How Weather Spotters Contribute to Forecasting and Risk Communication

  • By AMS Staff
  • Sep 24, 2021

Weather spotters play an important role in the severe weather warning system. Since the 1970s, the National Weather Service (NWS) has trained citizens to collect, confirm, verify, or supplement radar and other data, thus, “serving as the nation’s first line of defense against severe weather.” Today, “SKYWARN,” is a volunteer program with over 350,000 trained spotters. The network includes police and fire personnel, 911 dispatchers, emergency management workers, public utility workers, and other concerned citizens.

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