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NOAA meteorologist offers insight into marine weather forecasting

By Staff | Nov 24, 2010

Weather Service Meteorologist Todd Barron from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The Captiva Island Yacht Club hosted Weather Service Meteorologist Todd Barron from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last Thursday, as part of the club’s environmental programming series.

Barron’s office, located in Ruskin, Fla. near Tampa, is responsible for all of the weather forecasts that news stations — and NOAA weather radios, of course — rely on.

“The best way to get weather information is through a NOAA weather radio,” Barron said. “As soon as we hit the send button for our forecasts or warnings, within seconds the information goes through the transmitter and to your weather radio.”

For those that don’t have a weather radio, Barron also recommends the website http://weather.gov/tampa.

“There you’ll find a plethora of information, including graphical representations of what’s going to be happening in the short-term forecast [and] marine zone forecasts,” Barron said.

CIYC member Ron Gibson addresses the group.

Barron went on to describe all the kinds of severe weather in Southwest Florida, such as lightning and severe thunderstorms, tropical storms, water spouts and, of course, hurricanes, and explained the process behind forecasting — and issuing watches and warnings for –severe weather.

He said that community participation — such as trained SkyWarn volunteers — are essential in issuing accurate weather reports.

“First hand reports help us verify our warnings and the products that we put out,” Barron said.

For more information, go to http://weather.gov/tampa.

To speak to a meteorologist in Ruskin directly, call 813-645-2323.