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Captivans participate in SkyWarn training session

By Staff | Feb 11, 2010

Daniel Noah of the National Weather Service draws a raffle ticket from the hat held by Doris Holzheimer of the Captiva Hurricane Preparation and Response Committee. The winner of the raffle, and a NOAA weather radio, was Captivan Mike Kelly.

On Monday, warning coordination meterologist Daniel Noah of the National Weather Service in Ruskin conducted a SkyWarn training session at ‘Tween Waters Inn. The SkyWarn training is part of the Captiva Hurricane Preparation and Response Committee’s reapplication process for StormReady status.

“The reason we’re here today is for StormReady, a special program by the National Weather Service to recognize those communities that go above and beyond to prepare for hazardous weather. It doesn’t mean you’re storm proof, but it does mean you have better plans in place,” Noah said.

“Now, the main reason I’m here today is to tell you that if you see any of these things – hail, winds, tornadoes, waterspouts or flooding – call the 800 number, give us your SkyWarn I.D. number and tell us what’s going on,” Noah said, noting that data reported by SkyWarn spotters adds credibility to the warnings issued by the National Weather Service about severe weather.

“You’re our eyes and ears in the field to let us know what’s actually happening as opposed to what radar is showing us,” Noah said.

The session was divided into basic and advanced training.

Throughout the course of the basic session, Noah provided examples, photographs and video footage of instances of severe weather to look out for, including hail, high winds, tornadoes, waterspouts, heavy rain, flooding and thunderstorm formation.

During the advanced training, Noah discussed the effects of El Nino, Florida’s long history of hurricanes and how organizations such as the National Weather Service forecast the path of a hurricane.

After the two hour training session, Captiva Hurricane Preparation and Response Committee member Doris Holzheimer thanked Noah for his wonderful presenation.

During the presentation, Noah highlighted the importance of owning a NOAA weather radio and, thanks to a donation from Terry Kelley of the Lee County Emergency Operations Center, one lucky SkyWarn participant – Captivan Mike Kelly – won a free NOAA weather radio.

For more information about severe weather and how you can be prepared, visit the Hurricane Committee’s Web site, www.MyCaptiva.info, which provides many important links, including Noah’s branch of the National Weather Service, www.srh.noaa.gov.