Memphis NWS office SKYWARN spotter training available on YouTube

Meteorologists from the Memphis NWS office presented a two-hour SKYWARN spotter training session via Google Hangouts and you can see a recording of the entire thing on YouTube.

The recording provides useful and interesting information, but viewers should not assume that their local NWS offices will recognize the program as official spotter training. The northern Indiana NWS office does not, according to Michael Lewis, that office’s warning coordination meteorologist.

At the time of this writing, the only ways to be recognized by the northern Indiana office as a trained spotter are to attend an in-person training session sanctioned by that office or completeĀ  MetEd online training, Lewis said.

Of course, taking training recognized by your local office matters only if you wish to on that office’s official list of trained spotters, which can help improve the credibility of any reports you make to that office. In my experience, the northern Indiana NWS office accepts reports from anyone, trained or not. But reports that come from spotters they recognize has having received official training probably have a greater effect on meteorological decision making.

High winds drop trees & utility poles, cause sporadic structural damage

Strong, non-thunderstorm winds blew over trees and utility poles all over northern Indiana, northwestern Ohio and southern Lower Michigan yesterday. They also caused some sporadic structural damage.

The greatest structural damage reported to the northern Indiana office of the National Weather Service happened in Elkhart, where wind blew some of a steel roof off a commercial building:

A Fort Wayne resident sent WANE TV a photo of damage to the awning on her manufactured home:

Another Fort Wayne resident reported damage to his storm door:

The most pervasive damage, however, was to trees and utilities.

By 10:16 a.m., more than 6,000 of Indiana Michigan Power’s customers in Allen County, Ind. were without power. By 7 p.m., that number was down to 400.

By late afternoon, the northern Indiana NWS office issued this compilation of reports it had received. It also provided this list of the highest recorded winds in its coverage area.

Seriously high non-thunderstorm wind hits northern Indiana, northwestern Ohio

Photo of tree blocking road
Allen County Office of Homeland Security photo

High winds are dropping trees and causing power outages and traffic problems in the Fort Wayne area this morning.

As of 10:59 a.m. EST, Indiana Michigan Power reported on its website that 517 of its customers in Allen County had no power. Another 130 I&M customers in Whitley County also had outages.

The Whitley County Emergency Management Agency reported that much of Columbia City lost power:

The Indiana Department of Transportation reported that treesĀ  blocked westbound lanes of U.S. 24 in extreme southwestern Allen County, near the intersections of Homestead Road and West Hamilton Road.

The official anemometer at Fort Wayne International Airport recorded a gust of 57.5 mph (50 knots) at 11:09 a.m. EST.

The northern Indiana office of the National Weather Service issued a high wind warning for much of northeastern Indiana, northwestern Ohio and one county of southern Lower Michigan at 10:33 a.m. EST. The warning remains in effect until 7 p.m. EST.

The high wind warning indicates that gusts to 60 mph are possible today. These could cause additional fallen trees and utility poles and cause additional power outages. Gusts could also blow light and high-profile vehicles off roads.

The Indiana Toll Road has banned travel by all triple trailers, long double trailers (high profile only) and all high profile, over-sized permit trucks between the 31 (Valparaiso) interchange and the 144 (Angola) interchange until 7 p.m., according to a report from South Bend TV station WSBT.

Ice accumulation possible tonight into Saturday

Freezing rain clip artThe northern Indiana office of the National Weather Service issued a special weather statement this morning regarding a chance of freezing rain and ice accumulation in its forecast area tonight and tomorrow.

The statement indicates that its meteorologists expect light freezing rain to move into far northwestern Indiana after midnight. They expect the freezing rain to spread across northeastern Indiana, southern Lower Michigan and northwestern Ohio through early tomorrow morning.

The statement indicates that meteorologists had some uncertainty regarding the timing and amount of freezing rain. People in the area should nonetheless be prepared for light ice accumulation on roadways and walkways.

Any freezing rain that does fall should change to rain by mid-morning tomorrow, as temperatures rise.

Indiana governor records announcement that highlights ham radio SKYWARN activity

Governor Mike Pence has recorded a radio public service announcement for the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) that promotes the public service provided by Hoosiers who are ham radio operators. The announcement includes a mention of hams participating in the National Weather Service SKYWARN program.

The announcement has reportedly been sent to Network Indiana for playing during its programs, which air on radio stations throughout the state.

Use the player below to listen to the announcement.

NWS issues winter weather advisory for northwestern, north central Indiana

NWS map infographic on winter weather adivsory

From the Facebook page of the northern Indiana office of the National Weather Service:

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect northwest Indiana and southwest lower Michigan until 7pm EST tonight. Quick bursts of 1 to 2 inches of snow will fall within heaviest lake-effect bands. Outside of the advisory area, snow totals will be less than one inch north of US 6 and flurries south. Travel may become treacherous along area roads today. Please be cautious while driving. Stay tuned for the latest forecast updates on our website at www.weather.gov/iwx.

NWS announces Fort Wayne location of 2015 SKYWARN storm spotter training

Michael Lewis, warning coordination meteorologist at the northern Indiana office of the National Weather Service (NWS) informed me today that a location has been set for SKYWARN storm spotter training in Fort Wayne Feb. 17.

The training will take place in the auditorium of the Public Safety Academy: Ivy Tech South Campus, 7602 Patriot Crossing, Fort Wayne. It begins at 7 p.m. ET.

The NWS strongly urges all persons who plan to attend the training session to pre-register. Persons may do so online by following this link or via telephone by calling 260-449-4663 or 574-834-1104, extension 726.

The NWS also encourages participants to complete online training before attending the live training session. Persons may access the online training by following this link.

Download an information flyer in PDF format for viewing online and/or printing.

Solar flare blacks out shortwave radio, more flares possible this weekend

A potent X1-class solar flare 11/7 caused a strong HF radio blackout. More X-flares are possible this weekend, as a sunspot turns toward Earth, according to http://spaceweather.com/.

Ironically, a solar-induced blackout is the scenario for tomorrow’s simulated emergency test by ham radio operators of the Indiana section American Radio Relay League Amateur Radio Emergency Service and National Traffic System.