National Weather Service

Storm spotters help NWS gather critical storm information

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A trained group of people are on the ground when a storm rolls through to help the National Weather Service. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) A trained group of people are on the ground when a storm rolls through to help the National Weather Service. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
The info given from the storm spotters to the National Weather Service is very helpful. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) The info given from the storm spotters to the National Weather Service is very helpful. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

When dust storms roll into the Valley, a special group of people helps the National Weather Service.

"We feel like we are the eyes of the weather service," said Arnold Knack, a trained storm spotter for the National Weather Service in Phoenix.

The group is called SKYWARN and has been in Arizona for around 20 years.

"Because weather is interesting no matter where you are,” said Ken Waters, warning coordinator for the National Weather Service in Phoenix.

The program was started by the National Weather Service as a way to get weather information from the public.

"If we have a volunteer out there that has been through classes and knows what to look for, we can get critical info and then issue a round of warnings out to them,” said Waters.

The National Weather Service has 3,000 storm spotters around the state with 2,500 of them in or near the Valley.  

"I've seen haboobs and some heavy storms," said Knack.

The storm spotters go through training classes each spring to get their certification.

"We focus on weather, what are prime components and, of course, our main focus is on the monsoon," said Waters.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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