Amateur radio spotters, making up an extensive network of volunteers, act as the foot soldiers for the National Weather Service during severe weather.
Working in conjunction with organized Skywarn severe weather networks, spotters relay crucial observations to forecasters, who incorporate the data into public weather bulletins.
“They play a vital role in helping us monitor what is really happening,” said Barry Gooden, Warnings Coordinator for the National Weather Service office in Peachtree City. “We only see what’s up in the storm clouds so we really need that verification to know what’s happening on the ground.”
Gooden, whose office covers metro Atlanta, said spotter positions are open to the general public and no previous experience is needed.