SKYWARN Spotters help weather service anticipate bad storms

05 Mar 2013 09:24 | Bill Laakkonen

Note: Martin County has a FREE SKYWARN training class in Indiantown, May 04 2013. You may register online for the free class now.

To predict severe weather, forecasters rely on radar, satellites and computer models. But they also receive help from people gazing out their windows.

Maurice Dake has frequently called the National Weather Service to report strong storms, hail and flooding. Once he relayed a report of a tornado blowing a truck off Interstate 95 in northern Palm Beach County.

"That's a problem in Florida," said Dake, of Lake Worth, a retired electrical engineer. "Tornadoes can occur so quickly and move so quickly that you only have a short period of time to report them."

Dake is one of about 3,000 weather spotters in South Florida, trained to be on the lookout for tornadoes, strong storms and other severe weather. Read story

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