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The NWS in Fairbanks is looking for volunteer weather spotters in Interior Alaska, the North Slope, and Western Alaska from Scammon Bay to Point Hope.

Volunteer weather spotters are able to help their community and surrounding communities by reporting to the NWS thunderstorms, hail, heavy rainfall, strong winds, heavy snow, freezing rain, river and coastal flooding, etc. Most of the time a weather spotter will provide a report to us by phone, internet, or ham radio.  On occasion we may call you in the event we feel that something unexpected is happening in your area or to ask further questions on a report that you already gave to us.

To become an official NWS spotter, you receive free certified training conducted by the NWS. The spotter training covers how to make and send a spotter report, and provides all spotters with a common “weather language” to identify and describe weather events and ice and snow conditions. It is important that each spotter describes the same weather in the same way. This allows the NWS to incorporate your reports directly into their forecasting and warning system. The training is about a one hour slide presentation, with additional time for questions. If you are unable to travel to a training session, we can make other arrangements including online training.

If you are interested in becoming a spotter click on this link and fill out the form.  For additional information about our spotter program contact John Lingaas by e-mail or by phone at 1-907-458-3712.

Weather Information to Report

Winter weather:

  1. Freezing rain or freezing drizzle
  2. 3 inches of new snowfall in 12 hours
  3. Blowing snow reducing visibility to 1/2 mile or less when winds are 25 mph or more
  4. Wind Chill factors of -40F or colder when winds are at least 15 mph

Coastal Erosion from:

  1. High surf - Reaching farther inland than normal, causing erosion of the beach
  2. Coastal Flooding - Inundation of normal dry land by ocean water due to sea storms

Urban and/or small stream flooding:

  1. Roads closed due to high water
  2. Roads impassible due to high water
  3. Small streams overflowing their banks
  4. Land slides

Other significant weather to report:

  1. Strong Thunderstorms
  2. Funnel Cloud or Tornado
  3. Hail greater than 1/4 inch in diameter
  4. Winds of 50 mph or more
  5. 1/2 inch or more of rain in 1 hour
  6. Volcanic Ashfall
  7. Damaging Dust Devils

Also report any unusual weather event

WFO Fairbanks
Post Office Box 757345
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7345
Voice: 1-907-458-3700
Fax: 1-907-458-3737
Recorded Forecast: 1-800-472-0391
Webmaster Email: PAFG Web Authors
Page Modified: 03 Feb 2008 18:00 UTC
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