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ACP Chapter October Meeting

Topic: SKYWARN Training Class

Presenter: Scott Spratt, Warning Coordination Meteorologist

Date: Wednesday October 4th 1:00pm-3:00pm

Location: HD Supply, 501 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32805

Snack: Provided by ACP


ACP Mid-Florida Chapter Members and up to one guest,


How would you like to become an official Severe Weather Spotter?    Add that to your resume!


Scott Spratt, Warning Coordinator Meteorologist (WCM) for the Melbourne NWS Office, will be teaching the SKYWARN class to ACP members and guests at HD Supply on Wednesday, October 4th, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.  Below is the class description and outline.  Refreshments (not lunch) will be served. 


SKYWARN is a program developed and taught by National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologists and consists of trained weather spotters who report severe and hazardous weather to help in the weather warning process. SKYWARN Spotter reports provide vital "ground truth" to the NWS. The reports serve the NWS mission of protecting life and property in three ways: assists with present and future warning decisions, confirms hazardous weather detected by NWS radar, and provides verification information which can be used for future research and warning improvement efforts. SKYWARN is a volunteer public service for those 18 years or older.


Basic SKYWARN training (2 hours)


  • The National Weather Service (NWS) – products and services

  • The basics of Doppler Weather Radar

  • Why SKYWARN weather spotters are needed

  • Reporting observations to the NWS & how they are used to improve warnings

  • NWS partnerships with public safety officials, SKYWARN Spotters & media

  • Communicating weather hazard information

    • Weather warnings & statements

    • The Emergency Alert System (EAS)

    • NOAA Weather Radio

    • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

  • Weather definitions and Watches versus Warnings

  • History of Severe Weather in East Central Florida

  • Florida weather hazards

  • Characteristics of wind damage

    • Tornadoes versus straight-line winds

  • Weather safety

  • How thunderstorms form

    • Moisture, instability, lifting mechanisms, and wind shear

  • The thunderstorm life cycle

    • Towering cumulus stage, mature stage, dissipation stage

  • Visual clues of storm structure & strength

  • The squall line

    • Radar and 3D view, shelf cloud

  • The supercell thunderstorm

    • Visually identify storm features

    • Why supercells produce most of Florida’s tornado fatalities


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November 10 - 15, 2017

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