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SKYWARN to present at CERT meeting


Last updated 6/7/2007 at Noon

FALLBROOK — The public is invited to attend the free-of-charge presentation to be given by officials of SKYWARN at the North County CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) general meeting on June 13.

SKYWARN is a concept that was developed in the early 1970s intended to promote a cooperative effort between the National Weather Service and communities. It is not a club or organization; however, in some areas where emergency management programs do not perform the function, people have organized SKYWARN groups that work independent of a parent government agency and feed valuable information to the National Weather Service.

SKYWARN spotters are not by definition “storm chasers.” While their functions and methods are similar, the spotter stays close to home and usually has ties to a local agency. Storm chasers often cover hundreds of miles a day.

The term “storm chaser” covers a wide variety of people. Some are meteorologists doing specific research or are gathering basic information (such as videos) for training and comparison to radar data; others chase storms to provide live information for the media, while others simply do it for the thrill.

Storm spotting and storm chasing are dangerous and should not be done without proper training, experience and equipment. Southwest CA SKYWARN is an-all volunteer organization that supports the National Weather Service Forecast Office in San Diego. Its service region covers San Diego, Orange, Western Riverside and Southwest San Bernardino counties.

Steve Smith is the Southwest California Regional Coordinator. Jim Courter, Valley Center CERT, is Smith’s Assistant Regional Coordinator. Eric Hutchins, who lives in Fallbrook, is the San Diego County Coordinator.

The North County CERT meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 13, at the Fallbrook Public Utility District building at 990 East Mission Road. There will be a potluck for members and guests at 6 p.m. and the meeting will begin at 6:30. The public is invited.


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