Keep an eye out for hot air over Washington, D.C.

By September 23rd, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Comment

Lightning strikes near the Capitol building during May, 2005. Photo: Tech. Sgt. Cherie Thurlby (USAF)

Lightning strikes near the Capitol building during May, 2005. Photo: Tech. Sgt. Cherie Thurlby (USAF)

While there might be a lot of metaphorical hot air hovering around Washington, D.C., hazardous weather is no joke. Volunteer scary-weather spotters are needed for many chapters of the SkyWarn network, including the unit that keeps an eye on the sky throughout the Baltimore-Washington corridor. Volunteers are needed to report what the atmospheric forces have sent them – whether it be rain, snow, hail or downed trees. Your weather-related observations in real-time can help scientists predict the future path of storms. If you are over 14 years old and have an interest in the forces of nature, consider signing up.

To join, SkyWarn requires you to take a short (3 hour) “Basics I Class” that will teach you important weather observation skills. There is no fee for the course, which is held in various locations across the region. Want more information? A preview of course topics can be found in this document, and information for other SkyWarn chapters can be found here.

Even if you can’t commit to being a long-term weather watcher, consider creating a disaster plan for your family to follow in the event of an emergency, weather-related or otherwise.