8:38 AM

This makes me feel official

Yesterday I became an Official National Weather Service “Weather Spotter”, which means I am now part of the national Skywarn system.

I’ve always considered myself to be quite aware of the WX around me, and the guys at NWS were pleased that they signed up a licensed pilot to be a spotter, recognizing that we aviators do have a much better understanding of WX.

So here is how the system works. I have an ID #, and they have given me the unlisted WX spotter hotline 800#, which I am to call any time I see any of the following:

• Tornado, funnel cloud or waterspout
• Hail one-half inch or larger (dime size)

• Heavy rain of one inch per hour or more

• Flooding of any kind

• High winds with sustained or gusts 40 MPH or better

• Heavy snow (one inch or more in my area)

• Blowing snow causing visibility less than one-half mile

• Freezing rain

• High surf causing beach erosion

• Volcanic activity

But the best thing of all about becoming an official spotter is that they send you a very cool, OFFICIAL NWS rain gauge. This baby measures down to 1/100th of an inch of precip…quite a bit better than my cheapo $2 rain gauge I’d been using.

Gotta run now and stick my head out the window and see what is going on…

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