Meteorologists use radar
tornadoes might form
But, the radar can't detect actual tornadoes. People are needed to do that.
The National Weather Service can't rely on tornado reports from people off
the street. These people don't have any training so they may not actually
see what they think they see. Instead, the Weather Service offers classes
that anyone can take to become part of SKYWARN, a network of trained
volunteer spotters. Meteorologists can feel confident about the accuracy
of the spotter reports. If a tornado is spotted, they can issue a
tornado warning with a good degree of confidence.
Storm spotters are different that storm chasers
in organized networks to observe and confirm severe weather events for
the NWS and for local emergency managers. They also only operate in a
limited area, usually their county.
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