The WX5FWD SKYWARN™ team are volunteer radio operator liaisons for the Fort Worth National Weather Service (NWS) North Texas SKYWARN™ Spotters. During SKYWARN events, you are reporting information to our team and the NWS warning forecasters. Three goals of a storm spotter are to safely observe, identify and report conditions.

Weather spotters provide what's called "ground truth" to the National Weather Service and emergency weather management. Spotters are needed because, while radar is very good at helping the National Weather Service see what's going on in the upper atmosphere, it's unable to detect what's actually happening on the ground because of the curvature of the Earth. Knowing the "ground truth" about a weather event from the location can be the deciding factor to issue a warning.

Severe Weather Preparedness Week, What We’re Doing to Prepare

Today marks the start of the first ever National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently partnered to designate April 22-28, 2012, as National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, and is calling upon all Americans, in every area of the country, to Be a Force of Nature. [Organization] is committing to Being a Force of Nature and pledging to know our risk, take action, and be an example for our families and community by sharing the steps we took. Because we live in an area prone to [identify risk – tornadoes, flash floods, severe thunderstorms] the recent severe weather and tornado outbreaks reminded us that this weather can strike anywhere and at any time.

Bill Bunting is Moving

Bill Bunting (N5SAL), Meteorologist-In-Charge, Fort Worth NWS, has accepted a new position. Starting early April he will be the new Operations Branch Chief at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman Oklahoma. The WX5FWD NWS SKYWARN Team volunteers joined Bill and his wife Janice for dinner Thursday evening. A photo of the plaque presented to Bill and Janice is attached below. Please join us in wishing Bill and Janice congratulations, thanks and good luck in the new position.

Joplin Tornado Assessment

Please review the assessment of the 2011 Joplin tornado from the NWS Service Assessments.

Preface

On May 22, 2011, one of the deadliest tornadoes in United States history struck Joplin, Missouri, directly killing 158 people and injuring over 1,000. The tornado, rated EF-5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with maximum winds over 200 mph, affected a significant part of a city with a population of more than 50,000 and a population density near 1,500 people per square mile. As a result, the Joplin tornado was the first single tornado in the United States to result in over 100 fatalities since the Flint, Michigan, tornado of June 8, 1953.

Because of the rarity and historical significance of this event, a regional Service Assessment team was formed to examine warning and forecast services provided by the National Weather Service. Furthermore, because of the large number of fatalities that resulted from a warned tornado event, this Service Assessment will provide additional focus on dissemination, preparedness, and warning response within the community as they relate to NWS services.

Service Assessments provide a valuable contribution to ongoing efforts by the National Weather Service to improve the quality, timeliness, and value of our products and services. Findings and recommendations from this assessment will improve techniques, products, services, and information provided to our partners and the American public.

Lynn P. Maximuk
Director, Central Region
National Weather Service
July 2011

Look for WX5FWD on Field Day June 25 – 26, 2011

The Fort Worth NWS SKYWARN Radio Desk team and NWS staff will be active on several bands and modes during Field Day. We hope to talk to many of you, and add your call signs and information to our log. We should be on two stations working separate bands, including VHF 6 meters.

Mammatus Clouds

These shots were taken May 11, 2011. Click on the image to view.

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