Central Illinios Skywarn was invited by the National Weather Service Office in Lincoln to apply for the designation as a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador.
After submitting the application and waiting several weeks for the review and approval period, we are proud to announce that we have been formally recognized for our efforts in assisting the National Weather Service in keeping our communities safe in times of severe weather.
If not for the dedication, motivation and professionalism of our 30+ team members in several counties we could never have achieved this recognition.
Jess Hunter (W9ABS) the coordinator of the team and one of 6 members that sit on the team advisory board states “It has been a long, hard road to get where we are now. We faced many obstacles and overcame them with un-daunting dedication”. Hunter also states that “this recognition is for the team members, those at the admin level just keep things moving along, it is the individual team members who step up each and every time to complete the mission.”
Chris Miller, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service said “The Central Illinois SKYWARN group embodies all of the attributes of a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador. They do a tremendous job of assisting the NWS office in Lincoln with timely and potentially life saving information that helps central Illinois communities respond to high impact weather events. We can’t stress enough how real time information during hazardous weather events is critical to our messaging and ultimately, public safety.
When asked what was the key factor in the success of the Central Illinois Skywarn Team, Hunter clearly states it is the team members and their mindset when performing this vital service. “The team members think of themselves as Storm Spotters first who just happen to use Amateur Radio to accomplish the task at hand, We all understand the mission and the requirements needed to complete that mission. Having solid training like that which the NWS provides as well as internal operating procedures is also of great benefit”.
Central Illinois Skywarn started out as an ad-hoc group of Amateur Radio Operators who saw a void in storm spotting activities in Sangamon and surrounding counties. Over a few short years the team has grown from a handful of spotters working with minimal coordination and support to a fully functional team with members in 5 counties. With the assistance of a custom built Storm team tracking application, Central Illinois Skywarn is capable of conducting Storm Spotter Operations over a wide area utilizing unlimited personnel both fixed and mobile.
For more information about the Central Illinois Skywarn please visit their website at: http://centralillinoishams.org/skywarn