The National Weather Service (NWS) and the Mountain Area
Information Network (MAIN) are offering a series of training workshops for
mountain residents interested in becoming local "weather spotters" for NWS
The 90-minute workshops will include a basic orientation to
weather observation, plus instruction on how to report local weather
information. Weather-spotters are a critical link in the NWS's
severe-weather forecasting, says Vince DiCarlo, warning coodination
meteorologist at the NWS Warning and Forecast Office at the
"While Doppler radar significantly improves weather coverage over
Western North Carolina, it is not a substitute for a person reporting
ground-level information directly to our meteorologists", DiCarlo says.
NWS currently has more than 600 weather-spotters in WNC.
The workshops are being coordinated in WNC by the Mountain Area
Information Network (MAIN), which will use the NWS weather observations
for online weather reporting via its new community network website at
"This is a great partnership for MAIN because, as a community
network, our goal is to make local news and information quickly available
online for citizens in the mountain region," said Wally Bowen, executive
director of MAIN. MAIN is a non-profit, Internet-access cooperative with
local dial-up service in the counties of Mitchell, Yancey, McDowell,
Madison, Buncombe, Polk, Haywood, Jackson, Swain, Macon, Graham, Cherokee,
Clay and Qualla Boundary.
All workshops start at 7 p.m. The workshop schedule is:
Participants can register for the free workshops by calling MAIN
at 828-255-0182 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Feb. 21 in Murphy at the Murphy Public Library
- Feb. 22 in Cullowhee at Bird Hall, Western Carolina University
- Feb. 24 in Asheville in the Public Service Building, 3rd floor
- Feb. 29 in Robbinsville at the Graham County Public Library
- March 2 in Burnsville at the Yancey County Public Library
- March 9 Franklin at the Macon County Public Library.