dose anyone have any tips for weather spotting what has worked for them and ways to keep track of everything they have seen and where at?

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I have this piece of pipe on a rope hanging out on my deck....If it is wet...then raining....if it is white....snowing...if it is swinging....windy if it is warm...sunny....if my tongue sticks to it....COLDER than a well diggers butt.....Try very well.......Paul
Lucas I'm with Capt 723 on this one, not exactly sure what your asking for here, are you talking about a damage report for tracking? If you get with your Emergency Management Office in you district they should be able to point you in the right direction or better yet get you and your guys some storm spotting schools up and running. It will teach you the in's & out's on what your place is during bad weather no matter the case for your area...
We use a rock in Texas
Look Up!
I took a FEMA course online in the independent study section. It's IS-00271 anticipating hazardous weather and community risk. They explain some basic meteorology of hazardous weather. It also explains planning and how to deal with after the hazard has passed.

As far as keeping track, just get a map and pushpins with sticky notes explaining what you saw and where.
Hope this helps.
Two things come to mind:

In many areas there are SKYWARN networks staffed by amateur radio operators. There would be an amateur radio station right at the area weather office with mobile "hams" out observing the weather. We have some in WNY but I know out in Tornado Alley there are tons of spotters so equipped.

The other possibility is to call your dispatcher, report what you see and ask them to relay the report to the nearest weather office.

This presumes, of course that you are a trained weather spotter. You become one by taking a class conducted by your local NWS office. They show pictures and videos of the things they want to know about.

As one who was a storm chaser for 15 years, (notice the emphasis on was) have it ingrained into your brain that there is a big difference between spotting and chasing. Storm Spotting is learning the conditions to look for and report, from a distance if possible, and be next to a strong shelter to take cover in. (read basement, concrete and steel building, etc.)

Most definitely attend the NOAA course on spotting. Get a hold of your local amateur radio group who will usually be affiliated with a Skywarn chapter. They offer classes. Check with the Meteorologist from your local TV stations. They can give you information on upcoming symposiums and classes.

There are several online forums one can become a member of. Some offer online training in addition to discussion groups, and upcoming programs. and are a couple I am still affiliated with. The latter website allows for online reporting of severe weather.

Another thing to consider, and there is a case ongoing now where a brother firefighter was killed while spotting. Storm spotting in not considered the "normal" duty for fire department personnel, even though a lot of rural departments do it. There is a possibility that the LODD benefits may be denied or at least delayed, should an event occur.

But I cannot over-emphasize the fact that chasing storms is almost more dangerous than firefighting. Many "experienced" chasers are killed every year, and many more are severely injured. Plus the repairs for storm damage to a vehicle can get quite expensive. Insurance companies will usually drop or deny coverage once they find out someone is chasing storms.

Now I prefer to watch the radar, and current conditions from the bay of my station, and report what I see from there. I still take the NOAA class every year just to maintain my proficiency.
Good info Guys.....but I still like my method......LOL Paul
All of it except the tongue part. I don't care if you triple-dog-dare me. ;p
Here's a tip that 90% of weather reports could use and thats a skylight and common sense! Weather personnel are one of the only groups of people paid big bucks and are wrong (at times) more than not.
Storm chaser...? Are you totally nuts..? Wait a minute...fighting fires...going INTO a burning house.....Ahhhhhnever mind.....enough said.....BUT...what would you do if you caught one....? Kind of like dog chasing a car.....why..? He sure as hell can't drive it......Stay safe Brother...keep the Faith....Paul LOL, sorry couldn't help myself (again)
Your heart gets beating as fast staring down a mile wide tornado as it does facing a real burner, except ya can't put the funnel out.


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