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Warnings In The Sky

April 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 170

As we have already established, there are a great many practical uses for HAM radios, one better and more heroic than the next. Emergency communications, talking to old friends half a world away, or even hosting your own radio show are all brilliant examples of where this entertaining and also challenging hobby can lead a keen enthusiast. Another popular path for HAM's is as a regular public service volunteer, for example with the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS), for the severe weather information gathering program SKYWARN.

Founded in the 70s, the program quickly received the attention of thousands of hobbyists. The NWS had called for volunteers to be trained as severe weather spotters, and to be formed into teams where they get special individual training on the concepts of thunderstorm developments, the identification of high and low pressure zones as well as the fundamentals of storm structures. Upon completion of the short and free course, the freshly trained spotters are equipped with Doppler radar technology, and the sky watch begins.

The spotters include all imaginable sorts of people, as the HAM radio hobby does as a whole, from firefighters and police officers, to radio hosts and just generally concerned citizens. They all have the great responsibilty of correctly analizing cloud patterns, forecasting potential severe weather changes and passing on the gathered information to the Bureau of Meteorology for further analysis, so that potential hazards such as tornadoes and severe hailstorms can be timely revealed in order for preliminary emergency procedures to be carried out, and valuable human and animal lives to be saved.

Per year, nearly 20,000 severe thunderstorms, floods and hurricanes hit the United States. 95% of those reports had been preceded by severe weather warnings on television as well as in the papers, allowing for rapid re-deployment of citizens and goods, and emergency preparations starting before the brute force of Mother Nature hit our cities, all thanks to the accurate identification of weather patterns by cloud spotters all over the country. As of 2012, SKYWARN totals 295,000 volunteers spread out over 130 national Weather Forecasting Stations, and counting.

As an amateur radio operator, the opportunity to be part of a growing collective of like-minded people, all in it to give their part towards a safer and more interwoven community. The satisfaction of knowing that you have contributed to saving entire communities and countless lives, is worth more than all the gold in Fort Knox. SKYWARN is an observation and advanced meteorology training platform for any keen community activist and amateur radio operator, and the National Weather Service encourages anyone with a sound understanding of radio technology and the strong desire to help save lives from the dangers of severe weathers to join the thousands of others already doing it on a daily basis.

Ben J Stone is the creator and developer of Tilt Towers; the only ground accessible tower, with an innovative tilt and crank feature. is the safest tower for those not wanting to leave the ground. Offering both pre-built towers and blue prints available for purchase, Tilt Towers are more than just a tower -- They're a solution. Discover the difference at

Source: EzineArticles
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