National Weather Service Brings Skywarn Storm Spotter Training Back to Brazos County | Local News

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Kevin Walton, an amateur radio operator, said NWS Skywarn observers such as himself provide “ground truth” that supplements the information meteorologists receive from radar and equipment.

Walton said he was an observer because he cared about his community and wanted to help keep citizens safe during weather events.“It’s just another opportunity for us to be able to share information with people who can make a difference, like the National Weather Service,” he said.

Brazos County emergency management coordinator Michele Mead said the National Weather Service radar turns off at an angle so it’s thousands of feet in the air when it hits the Bryan College station.

“By the time it comes out here, which is on the edge of their territory, there’s a little bit of space between where this radar is looking and the actual ground, and, with good frequency, we’re seeing activity of tornado type in this area, so it’s not uncommon for us to have a situation where we get a tornado on the ground before we get a real warning,” she said.

Ron Hambric, who is the emergency coordinator for Brazos County Amateur Radio Emergency Services, said a heavy downpour could take an hour to affect people further downriver, but it may only be a few minutes to get information about a hailstorm or tornado.

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