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GPS Tracking Storms and Weather


By Sid Nair

Anyone who has an interest in weather and who also wants to help the public might want to consider becoming a storm spotter. The SKYWARN program is managed by the National Weather Service as a way to protect the public by providing advance warnings and information about inclement weather. Storm spotters need to receive training by taking courses and participating in webinars. You'll learn about thunderstorms, storm structures, how to identify severe weather, how to report it, and basics about weather safety. Some storm spotters use weather stations installed in their homes or vehicles. These stations enable (tracking) of weather conditions such as wind speed and direction, humidity, rainfall, temperature, and barometric pressure. Monitoring these conditions makes it possible to predict weather and provide important data to the National Weather Service and local meteorologists. Those spotters who also engage in storm-chasing activities often take their systems with them as they drive and monitor storm progress. Some weather reports may also include GPS coordinates and photos called in or sent via social media pages maintained by local or regional storm-chaser organizations.