Have you ever thought it would be nice to be trained to be a Skywarn spotter? If you'd like to learn how to tell the difference between a shelf cloud, funnel cloud, or tornado, then this training is for you. This is offered FREE to anyone who wishes to attend. The course is sponsored by the Madison County EMA/DHS unit and the National Weather Service. The NWS will have presenters show you photos of the differences between the many different types of clouds that often get misconstrued for a funnel cloud or tornado. Did you know there is a difference between a funnel cloud and a tornado? A funnel cloud is just that, a cloud with a rotating cloud that is reaching towards the ground. It doesn't become a tornado till it actually touches down at ground level. Most of the Skywarn spotters in Madison County are trained and are amateur radio operators. You don't need to be a ham (amateur) radio operator to participate.
The course is this coming Tuesday, March 15, 2022, from 6p-8p at the York Performance Hall at Anderson University. The actual address is 1100 E 5th St Anderson IN. No prior registration is required, just show up and learn! You will receive handout materials and if you have a scanner you can listen to 146.820 to the Madison County Amateur Radio personnel who are out doing the actual spotting. If you want you can also listen to 146.970 to the National Weather Service Skywarn Net that covers some 39 counties that the Indianapolis Office of NWS covers. One of the advantages of listening to .970 is you will find out what is happening in Boone, Tipton, and Hamilton Counties as the weather usually comes through those counties before it enters Madison County.
As the writer of this article I have been a ham radio operator for over 15 years and have been a Skywarn spotter trained by NWS for over 20 years AND every year I learn something new. I have had the opportunity to report two tornados just as they developed in the past. One was in Illinois where I was working at the time and the other was in Hamilton County in 2012. This is an excellent opportunity to have any questions you have about tornados and severe weather answered. You might even decide you want to get your ham (amateur) radio license so you can be sent out to an "observation point" in the future to report back to the local EMA/DHS as to what you see. Hope to see you there!