With the wide range of terrain on the Western Slope, forecasting can be tricky. But Skywarn spotters help to be the eyes and ears for the National Weather Service.
With the radar being high up on the mesa, it's hard for the beams to see what's going on in the lower valleys. That's where the Skywarn spotters come in.
Every year the weather service holds a Skywarn recognition day. This year they'll be honoring Ron Rich, who passed away earlier this year. They'll be remembering and recognizing all that he contributed to the Skywarn program.
“He was our Skywarn coordinator for Delta County and he was very involved in the amateur radio operators and Skywarn. Not just in that county but across western Colorado”, explained Aldis Strautins, Hydrologist for the Grand Junction National Weather Service.
“He helped me and he helped a lot of guys get involved in HAM radio. He was club president for the Montrose amateur radio club and this is going to be the first year that we're going to be doing it without Ron’s presence and we're going to miss him”, said Lew French, Skywarn Coordinator for Montrose County.
Skywarn recognition day is celebrated across the country. It started at five o'clock today and will continue until five tomorrow evening.
Skywarn is always looking for more spotters to join their network of volunteers. If you're interested, you can contact the National Weather Service office here in Grand Junction.