National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
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2014 Skywarn Weather Spotter Training Dates
Date Community Location Time
5/5/14 Bangor 69 Hammond St (Post Office Bldg) 6pm
5/6/14 Machias 28 Center St (UM Cooperative Extension Bldg) 6pm
5/22/14 Greenville 7 Minden St (Greenville Municipal Office - Meeting Hall) 6pm
6/2/14 Caribou

810 Main St (NWS Office in Caribou, by Airport)

530pm

 

Anyone interested is welcome to attend. Each training session is free of charge and there is no need to register. However, participants will be asked to fill out a short form during the class. If you're interested in becoming one of our volunteer weather spotters please contact us, or plan on attending one of our training sessions.

Official spotter IDs will be given to anyone who attends a training session and is at least 16 years of age or older (one per household). People younger than 16 who desire a spotter number and who can present special circumstances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The umbrella National Weather Service program for this is named Skywarn. For more information about Skywarn, click here.

For a really good, detailed Spotter Guide, click here. (Large file)

What You Should Report

Below is a list of weather hazards we'd like to hear about. Remember to always ensure you're safe before making your report and use your spotter number, location, phenomena, and time of report when you do. Thanks!

Tornado
Always report tornadoes. Specifically mention the location of the tornado, its duration, movement, and any damage you've observed.
Funnel & Wall Clouds
These features are possible precursors to tornadoes and should always be reported.
Hail
Report hail of all sizes, however, place special emphasis on reporting hail of 1" diameter or greater. Hail of 1" diameter or greater is considered "severe." When reporting hail, either measure the diameter of the largest stones you observe, or compare the stone size to common objects like coins or balls.
Rainfall & Flooding
Report rainfall rates of more than 1 inch per hour, and always report flooding of any kind.
Wind
Wind is considered severe when sustained or gust values reach 58 mph. Please report wind speeds in excess of 40 mph, whether sustained or gusts. It's best to use a properly calibrated and sited anemometer to measure wind speed, but you can also use the Beaufort Wind Scale to estimate the wind speed. If you are estimating wind speed, please make this clear when you make your report.
Snowfall
Report snowfall amounts of any value, and be sure to mention the location and time of your measurement. Measuring and reporting snowfall periodically during events is exceptionally helpful. Tips on measuring snow have been compiled by the folks at the Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) Experiment and can be found here.
Dense Fog & Blowing Snow
When visibilities drop below 1/2 mile due to dense fog or blowing snow we'd like to have a report.
Weather Related Damage
Always report weather related damage.
Amateur Radio & Skywarn

Amateur Radio operators are a critical part of the Skywarn Weather spotter program. These "Hams," as they're called, are able to utilize their skills with radio to reach out over a large area and gather storm reports. The National Weather Service utilizes Amateur Radio operators around the country to help fullfill our agency's mission to protect lives and property.

The National Weather Service in Caribou is seeking amateur radio groups in northern and eastern Maine that would like to participate in this program locally. Participation in the program is voluntary and would be based on impending or ongoing hazardous weather situations impacting the local area. Please contact us if you're interested.

Specifically, we're looking for volunteers in Aroostook, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Washington counties.