Weather Spotting: Basic Information, Tips & Safety Concerns

The art and craft of weather spotting.

Weather spotting in our context is the gathering of information about significant weather related events and providing that information to the National Weather Service at Gray, Maine in a timely fashion. It is not “storm chasing” in which a team actually closely follows or monitors an approaching thunderstorm or tornado. Both spotting and chasing can be dangerous activities and should not be done without training. Spotter traing is provided by National Weather Service personnel or their designee. Spotters normally stay close to a “home” area and report on events such as high rainfall rates, thunderstorm activity, snowfall during major snow events, high wind events, floods, wild fire or icing events. It is a year round activity. Weather spotters who are licensed ham radio operators may take spotter reports from other hams while operating WX1GYX the amateur radio station at Gray providing valuable assistance to the meteorologists as they prepare storm forecasts.