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NWS Fort Worth Ham Radio Operators: An Invaluable Resource

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth utilizes various technologies when making warning decisions on storms. Radar, satellite, and upper air data are all critical in determining a storm’s strength and potential to become severe. However, ground-truth information, or what is actually occurring, is vital.

A small group of volunteer Ham radio operators make NWS Fort Worth their home when hazardous weather strikes the region. A team led by Mike Heskett, WB5QLD, can be called 24 hours/7 days a week by NWS meteorologists to search the air waves for hail, high wind, tornado, and flooding reports.

Inside NWS Fort Worth, Ham radio operators sit directly across from radar warning operators. This allows critical ground-truth information to be passed along to warning meteorologists quickly. Storm details from spotters in the field can play an essential role in a forecaster issuing a life-saving tornado warning versus a severe thunderstorm warning, or a flash flood warning versus a flood advisory.

If you are a Ham across North Texas, give Mike and our other dedicated volunteers a shout when severe storms roll through your area...you might help us save a life!

From NWS Thunderbolt Winter 2007 Newsletter