Recently, we attended a meeting at the Wilmington NWS office. The purpose was to discuss the 1999 severe weather season.
First and foremost, Mary Jo Parker – Warning Coordination Meteorologist expressed the NWS’s appreciation for all Skywarn Spotters’ assistance through the year. Spotters continue to be an important part of the NWS warning system.
1999 was actually a very slow year. Granted, the April 9th tornado and a few other severe weather outbreaks within the Wilmington County Warning Area kept things “interesting”. The drought was the big weather story. As you might suspect, droughts make for low incidence of severe weather. The Wilmington office issued 245 severe weather warnings this year. For the amateur radio nets, just under 60 hours of net time were logged. The Cincinnati section logged much less.
Keep an ear to your NOAA weather radio. The NWS has scheduled November 1st. as the conversion date for the new automated voice system, also known as NWR2000. We heard the system in operation while in the office. The computer generated voice does take a little getting used to, but it is fully understandable.
NWS had the system running offline for the October 13, 1999 severe weather event. They were pleased with the system. It generated warnings for broadcast as fast or faster than humans possibly could. This system will result in faster warning broadcasts for future severe weather seasons. The Wilmington office was one of the last to receive the new equipment, so this same system has already been proven in other areas.
Very shortly, scheduling will begin for 2000 Skywarn Spotter Training Courses. We will send all information we receive ASAP. We will also keep you informed of any upcoming amateur radio courses or testing sessions we know about.
Things tend to get a little slow for us during the cold months. If you don’t here from us for a little while, rest assured we are still here. When we start gearing up for SWS2K (Severe Weather Season 2000), you’ll be hearing from us again.