For Hometown News
MARTIN COUNTY -- The National Weather Service needs residents to be their eyes and ears at the local level when a natural disaster strikes.
To help teach residents what they need to know about reporting hazardous weather, the National Weather Service will conduct a free severe weather spotter class on May 4.
Hosted by the Martin County Amateur Radio Emergency Service and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service groups, the event will take place starting at 9:45 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Family Worship Center, 15285 S.W. Indianmound Drive in Indiantown.
The class will be taught by an NWS meteorologist. While open to all area residents, residents of Indiantown and western Martin County are encouraged to attend. Maps to the class location can be found at: http://goo.gl/maps/hrAUp or http://mapq.st/XMTSqq
At the conclusion of the training session, participants will be able to recognize local precursors to severe weather and will be provided NWS SKYWARN Spotter ID cards and a special NWS phone number to report certain observed severe weather parameters and/or storm damage to the office in Melbourne.
Participant phone numbers will be placed into the NWS database, and they will occasionally receive phone calls inquiring about severe weather heading to their locations, as detected by weather radar.
Skywarn is a volunteer program that enables NOAA's National Weather Service, part of the U.S. Commerce, to obtain critical weather information. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.
The main responsibility of a spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms. In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States. Since the program started in the 1970s, the information provided by spotters coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and flash floods.
Learn more about the Martin County Skywarn organization or by visiting the website at: http://www.mcaraweb.com/skywarn.html
In Martin County, the Martin Country Amateur Radio Association and Martin Country Amateur Radio Emergency Services and Radio Civil Emergency Service and non-ham volunteers participate to promote severe weather reporting activities.
Martin County Amateur Radio Association can be contacted at P.O. Box 1901, Stuart, FL, 34995-1901, and email queries can be sent to www.mcaraweb.com. The Martin County Florida ARES/RACES, Inc. can be contacted at P.O. Box 2769, Stuart, FL, 34995, or online at
For more information about the organizations or the program, call Ron Tagg at (772) 631-5846.