ABC 33/40 Skywatchers

The ABC 33/40 Pinpoint Doppler Radar is an invaluable tool; providing our team of meteorologists storm data in real time, including velocity and specific storm structure information that helps to identify tornadoes and other areas of severe weather. But, all radar beams go in a straight line, and the beam can be several thousand feet off the ground due to the curvature of the earth. For this reason, obtaining “ground truth” is crucial in the warning process.

For this reason, we are in the process of forming a large team of “Skywatchers”, who report weather conditions to the ABC 33/40 Weather Center using instant message technology. Our team of Skywatchers also send us digital pictures and video of weather for use on ABC 33/40 News and our web site.

We have over 600 members of the team now, and are always looking for more. We need people who:

*Have taken at least the basic SKYWARN class, or attended one of the ABC 33/40 Storm Alert XTREME sessions we offer in the fall each year (or have a clear understanding of thunderstorm structure). NOTE: The 2010 Storm Alert XTREME will be held on November 13 at the BJCC from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m… we hope to see you there. The good news is that if you come to our training event, you gain free admission to the Alabama International Auto Show, which is also going on at the BJCC.

*Have a digital camera, digital video equipment, or both

*Good Internet connectivity for sending images and video to us, and for instant message communications

*Love weather and want to learn more

*Can work in a controlled instant message environment with our other team members

*Are 16 years of age or older

We especially need Skywatchers from rural counties where there are no “official” observations.

Interested in joining the team? Send me an e-mail message:

Tell me a little about yourself and we will be in touch with additional information!

Look for reports and images from our team of Skywatchers on ABC 33/40 News, and on our blog!

James Spann, CBM
Lead Meteorologist
ABC 33/40

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