Soon I will try and get a SKYWARN page up on our site so that anyone with any questions about that program, upcoming training opportunities, etc., will have a “one stop shop” for information on the topic.
Today I receive a reply from Jennifer Dunn, the “Warning Coordination Meteorologist” with National Weather Service Fort Worth. She answered some very specific questions I had posed. For brevity sake I will post the edited information as a Q&A below:
Q: Is the Comet MetEd SKYWARN® Spotter Training course certification one that fully qualifies a ham operator to the Fort Worth National Weather Service office standards? Here is a link to that program: https://www.meted.ucar.edu/education_training/course/23
A: Yes, taking the Comet online course does qualify someone as “Spotter”. We do tell those who have finished the online Comet course that they can identify themselves as a Trained Spotter to our office. We still encourage them to attend a local SKYWARN class to learn more about our local hazards and reporting methods.
Q: If the Comet course above does not fully qualify someone to the Fort Worth NWS standards, is there an online only option to get fully qualified?
A: We do offer online SKYWARN classes, usually in February and March. These classes will be posted with the rest of our in-person schedule by the end of the December. We do offer a certificate with the online course. We also have past recordings of SKYWARN classes on the SKYWARN webpage mentioned above for review, but they don’t include the certificate.
Q: We know the Fort Worth NWS office has done some January SKYWARN classes in Paris previously. Do you have a date set for January 2024 so that we can start advertising it to our Club members?
A: Lamar County will not be hosting a class in 2024. Hopkins, Fannin, and Grayson are in the rotation to host classes in 2024. Again, the schedule of classes won’t be posted until late December.
So, there you have it. You MAY take the online Comet course at the link above and then consider yourself to be a storm “spotter”. They recommend that you take one of their courses to complement that certification and each Spring they offer their own online course. Finally, Lamar County will not be getting a lecture in 2024. When we know the dates for the Hopkins, Fannin and Grayson lectures we will pass that information along.