National Weather Service VEM-RACES Weather Reporting System
Purpose: To provide an ongoing mechanism to record vital weather information during times of normal and severe weather to the National Weather Service and VEM using the DisasterLan Network.
Weather is an event in our lives that changes from minute to minute. As we know, New England weather is no exception to that rule. As the weather turns from a great sunny day to a bad storm, we often find the RACES program activated for deployments to cover these situations. In order to better document these changing conditions, the VEM RACES Program and the National Weather Service (NWS) Program has established a joint weather reporting initiative with RACES operators who monitor and report routine to severe weather events in Vermont.
The NWS Skywarn™ spotter program was developed in the early 1970's and is intended to promote a cooperative effort between the National Weather Service, State Emergency Management organizations, and local communities. Trained Skywarn™ spotters provide an invaluable service by supplying accurate weather observations related to the ground conditions as the NWS observes the weather from radars, satellites, and reporting stations. Since many of the VEM-RACES operators are already trained by the NWS to be Skywarn™ spotters, they fit into this role.
By using RACES operators to report weather conditions to Vermont Emergency Management via phone, radio, or via the VEM DisasterLan (DLan) EOC interface, there will now be a real time and historical record of weather events within Vermont and the NWS. Weather data entered into DLan is monitored by the VEM Duty Officer and/or NWS Meteorologist. The National Weather Service can and will use this information for forecast and warning decision making, as well as to verify the accuracy of forecasts and warnings. Additionally, this information can be vital in supporting requests for Federal disaster declaration assistance when used within reports to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The NWS - VEM-RACES Weather Reporting System has numerous benefits:
- Provides for actual official recording of weather information.
- Provides critical data during and after severe weather events.
- Provides operators with VEM DisasterLan EOC interface familiarity.
- Builds a database of weather reports that can be analyzed and potentially used for Federal disaster declaration requests.
How to report weather information to NWS & VEM -
To assist in reporting the weather conditions accurately to VEM and the NWS, please use the “RACES DLan Weather Net Log” located on our web page. This form can be used to record local weather for a single station or multiple reports via a local weather net. Completed weather data form can then be emailed or reported to VEM via a RACES operator or direct email. This information will then be entered into the DisasterLan computer system. Please check with your local VEM-RACES liaison for information about a regular Weather Net frequency used in your area.