NWA Workshop Day One

October 15th, 2012 at 5:04 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather

I recently took a continuing education trip to Wisconsin in order to catch up on the latest  in forecasting techniques and computer technology. After arriving in Madison on Saturday evening to temperatures in the thirties, I got a full day in Sunday at the National Weather Association (NWA) workshop.

Our first day consisted of a broadcasters workshop designed specifically for on-air meteorologists. The morning sessions focused on communication techniques. We also reviewed the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak and discussed severe weather coverage.

In the afternoon, a good bit of time was spent learning about the new Dual-Pol radar upgrade coming to our area around February 1st, 2013.  National Weather Service radar sites will update to this new form of radar which will give us a much more accurate picture of precipitation and severe storms. The radar beams will now be able to look at an object both horizontally and vertically.  We will be able to detect large hail in severe storms much better. We also will have a more accurate way to determine rainfall rates in flash flooding situations. For the first time, we will be able to confirm tornado debris signatures within a storm, helping greatly in the tornado warning process. We will also be able to do a better job of determining precipitation types in winter weather events. And, we can identify false echoes due to bird migrations and chaff (armed forces releases). However, the standard reflectivity will not change much.

Finally, I attended a social media boot camp sponsored by the Weather Channel.  The television industry is rapidly changing! Most of us are now using smart phones and social networking platforms throughout the day. This seminar focused on how to use Facebook and Twitter to interact with viewers and promote newscasts.

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