Metro Skywarn Training Program
Using a training program
jointly developed by the National Weather Service and Metro Skywarn, volunteers train
about 600 Radio Amateurs every two years. The training program runs from March to May every year. The
class schedule comes out every February. The NWS brings its weather knowledge
and access to exciting and instructive video footage and slides. The local ARES/RACES organizations bring their
expertise in emergency communications. The result is a four hour video and slide presentation.
Net operations rely upon a high degree of independence from spotters. Spotters are trained about basic storm structure and the sequence of events of an approaching severe storm , to place themselves safely near severe weather and how to report into the net. Special emphasis is placed on training the spotter how to differentiate severe weather from weather easily confused with severe weather with a specially prepared video and slide presentation. Many useful weather terms are learned to facilitate communication on the net.
To qualify, radio amateurs must pass a multiple choice test every two years. Spotters are expected to monitor severe weather potential and activate themselves as needed and available and place themselves at useful locations. Reports are requested from anyone seeing severe weather. Updates from the NWS about current conditions are repeated or updated every ten minutes. Occasionally, the NWS will request information from a specific location or regarding specific conditions.