Age limit to be a skywarn spotter?

I was just wondering if you have to be a certain age to report severe weather to the National Weather Service or to be a certified skywarn spotter? Because our local NWS office didn't responde to my email I sent a couple weeks ago. So just curious???
 
The NWS would be pleased to accept any and all reports (I'm not speaking on behalf of them, but...), preferably from trained spotters. I haven't heard of a single SkyWarn group that has age specifications... In fact, I"ve seen "trained" spotters as young as 9 and as old as... well, "retirement age"...
 
Ok thanks, I'll look into this next spring. Also the picture you use everytime you post is that the July 14th tornado Near Mankato, MN if so that was my first tornado chased :D
 
I was just wondering if you have to be a certain age to report severe weather to the National Weather Service or to be a certified skywarn spotter? Because our local NWS office didn't responde to my email I sent a couple weeks ago. So just curious???

You should go to a spotter training session that your local NWS office holds - most offices hold them at different places around their forecast area in February or March. Usually the schedule is posted on the office's website a month or so ahead of time. These training sessions will tell you how to go about reporting severe weather to the office and give you a great chance to get to know some of the NWS forecasters....for someone your age it would be great to be making contacts with these people as they can definitely give you some good advice if you want to go after a career in meteorology.
 
I can't say there is, either.. when I took HAM radio classes, many were grade school kids getting a license, so I imagine spotting is no different..

Although I think you'd be hard pressed to drive a car to chase down a storm.. :D
 
I wouldn't really expect replies to emails from the NWS. You'd be better off just phoning to ask the question. I've sent *ahem* more than one *ahem* email to several NWS offices asking questions about everything from forecasts to internships and got no replies from any of them.
 
spotter

That is really cool that you get to chase with your dad. I am 15 (turning 16 in 10 days) and I also chase with my dad! How long have you been interested in weather? As for being a spotter, I don't think there is a age limit. I could have gone to one this year but had to miss it because if my high school baseball game. :( Not like they need spotters up here. I live in Leadville Colorado and there has never been a severe thunderstorm in my entire county! Where do you live? Hopefully in a better place than I do! Good luck chasing!! :!: :D
 
Re: spotter

That is really cool that you get to chase with your dad. I am 15 (turning 16 in 10 days) and I also chase with my dad! How long have you been interested in weather? As for being a spotter, I don't think there is a age limit. I could have gone to one this year but had to miss it because if my high school baseball game. :( Not like they need spotters up here. I live in Leadville Colorado and there has never been a severe thunderstorm in my entire county! Where do you live? Hopefully in a better place than I do! Good luck chasing!! :!: :D

Iv'e Been interested in weather for about 5 years or so. The first time I've chased when I was ten or so. But most of the time it was just looking out the front door everytime the sirens go off. Then the past 2 years my dad and have been going chasing with no "real" equitment except the scanner/weather radio. I've lived in Mankato,MN all my life there has been to many severe storms and tornadoes to count lol . and if you know anything about the Minnesota River it can be a pain since storms like to split or blow up or just fall apart once they hit they hit the bend in the river (where mankato is). I've seen two tornadoes, some good sized hail like around ping pong ball size covering the road and filling the ditches, lots of shelf clouds, couple wall clouds........i hope to make a site soon
 
No age is too young if you have some maturity and intelligence. Logical thinking and the ability to report accurately are that's important. Most adults lack this. I've always been keenly interested in weather and did stationary spotting (and occasional very shot jaunts) until I was 16 and got my drivers license, when there after I immediatley began chasing. I received and was able to internalize Skywarn training at a very young age. As for the NWS, they do not discriminate. Other organizations than do spotting (as opposed to merely training) such as emergency management and emergeny responders usually do have age restrictions for legal reasons. You can be a Skywarn spotter at any age, however.

Don't let an unresponded to email get in the way of your passion; and if you're passionate, you won't. I know and have known high school and younger aged students who are very adept forecasters and have become superb chasers. High school students have even become paid student interns at NWSFOs and meteorology postgrad depts (though certain things have to be in place and that's not common).

Charles, are you Charles of the father-son team that I and Blake Naftel met in Osceola Iowa the morning of 12 June 2004? Nice to see ya here, if so!

Scott
 
Charles, are you Charles of the father-son team that I and Blake Naftel met in Osceola Iowa the morning of 12 June 2004? Nice to see ya here, if so!

Yes I am. Did you guys get anything that day? We did not. :cry: It was nice meeting you too!
 
I"ve seen "trained" spotters as young as 9 and as old...

Oh My God... I don't even wanna know what a "tornado" is to a 9 year old kid. Scud clouds under a shelf cloud to some "trained" spotters translate as a large funnel under a wall cloud.

Don't you think people that take the course should take a test to verify their knowledge before letting them start reporting? That should be something the NWS needs to start doing... and quickly!

..Nick..
 
I"ve seen "trained" spotters as young as 9 and as old...

Oh My God... I don't even wanna know what a "tornado" is to a 9 year old kid. Scud clouds under a shelf cloud to some "trained" spotters translate as a large funnel under a wall cloud.

Don't you think people that take the course should take a test to verify their knowledge before letting them start reporting? That should be something the NWS needs to start doing... and quickly!

..Nick..

Nick, that SkyWarn group does do testing! LOL -- the kid did pass.

Speaking of which, I am strongly in favor of testing for spotters. The tests I've taken to be 'certified' aren't that hard, but sufficient enough to test whether a person is learned-enough to be a spotter or not.
 
The one around here didn't! That's odd...

Believe me, what I mean by a test - I mean a REALLY hard test. Being a spotter means you can help save lives, but you can also annoy lives too. :lol: - What I mean is I know half of the spotter-based TOR's are NOT tornadoes. I've seen what some spotters report, probley because they got the itchy trigger-finger and want to show their friends a cool thing that they can do with the EAS! :lol:

Infact, I wouldn't be surprised if their were some spotters that report false stuff for just the thrill of it! Shoot, I could call DTX right now and tell them I got a tornado on the ground right now and they would have to issue a warning.

..Nick..
 
Being a spotter means you can help save lives, but you can also annoy lives too. :lol: - What I mean is I know half of the spotter-based TOR's are NOT tornadoes.

A large number of reports are not valid. This is a big problem. Spotter reports don't save lives. Warnings don't save lives. Sirens don't save lives. Only action saves lives. If people don't believe the warning or don't take it seriously, then all the forecasting, technology, and spotting that led up to the warning is moot. While no large scale studies have been done, it seems that most people react to warnings by gathering more information, i.e. going/looking outside and ascertaining for themselves the threat to them, and acting accordingly based on their own personal "threat threshold."

I would advocate a testing scheme of some kind, though the details of it and 'certification' are a sticky business.
-----

Charles, we saw an explosive supercell with rotating wall cloud and funnel nearly produce a tornado before it was undercut by linear storms flanking it from the north. We targetted north-central Kansas, where it seems the majority of chasers, including expereicned veterans, targetted (that and south-central Nebraska), and missed the big show near ICT.

Scott
 
The one around here didn't! That's odd...

Believe me, what I mean by a test - I mean a REALLY hard test. Being a spotter means you can help save lives, but you can also annoy lives too. :lol: - What I mean is I know half of the spotter-based TOR's are NOT tornadoes. I've seen what some spotters report, probley because they got the itchy trigger-finger and want to show their friends a cool thing that they can do with the EAS! :lol:

Infact, I wouldn't be surprised if their were some spotters that report false stuff for just the thrill of it! Shoot, I could call DTX right now and tell them I got a tornado on the ground right now and they would have to issue a warning.

..Nick..

No Skywarn tests here either, even though I'm about 10 miles from you (what Skywarn training location do you go to? The Macomb center is closest for me).

DTX would probably have to verify your TOR report though, through radar/etc... Obviously if its sunny out and not a cloud in the sky, they would use other sources to verify.

I remember several years ago, a SVR rolled through with 70MPH winds, and knocked the power out for about 20 minutes. When the power came on, I called DTX to report what happened, but I forgot to mention it happened 20 minutes ago, and within 5 minutes, the "red scroller" comes across TWC, with my spotter report put into the "Call to Action" statement... I could see why they re-issued though, because there was in fact a secondary storm, but when it went through, it was nothing more than garden variety (the warning was cancelled 10-15 minutes later)...
 
"what Skywarn training location do you go to? The Macomb center is closest for me"

I went to the one at Freedom Hill in Macomb County.

..Nick..
 
Back
Top