On the last Thursday of May I attended the National Weather Service's Skywarn Level II spotter training. Skywarn is a program run by the NWS to train spotters to report on severe weather conditions. High Winds, funnel clouds, hail, flash flooding, that sort of thing. It gives them eyes in the field to compare and evaluate what their instruments are telling them.
Many amateur radio operators participate in the program and now I'm one of them. I am spotter # 700. I prefer to think of it as Weather Spy 007! I even have a secret phone number to call directly onto the NWS ops floor. I'm sure it must ring a red phone with just a big flashing light on it! Ha!
Anyway, if I do see anything out of the ordinary, I can play my part to keep the National Weather Service informed with the most accurate and detailed information they can get.