NWS Chat Pools Info During Storms

NWS Chat Pools Info During Storms
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You might be surprised one of the best meteorology tools is actually a keyboard.

“Think AOL I.M., if you wanna go back that far,” KOAM/Fox 14 Meteorologist Nick Kelly said.

Before the National Weather Service issues a warning or watch, Kelly is seeing the situation unfold. Not only through his eyes, but by sharing information with folks across the entire region.

“We usually communicate between four or five offices,” Kelly said. “Springfield, Tulsa, Wichita, Kansas City, or even Topeka if we need to.”

“There’s a multitude of agencies and entities that we serve here across Southeast Kansas and the Missouri Ozarks,” Doug Cramer of the National Weather Service said.

NWS Chat is a place for meteorologists, storm chasers, even hospitals or first responders, to share information with each other and the NWS. Which can include social media message or Doppler and radar indications.

“[They’ll] post updates of how the updates are looking right now,” Kelly said,

“Are they starting to rotate? Are we seeing a tornado based on radar?” Cramer said. “And we’re able to relay that data to people that are watching and listening in on us on that chat.”

One of the biggest influences if the National Weather Service issues a warning or watch is some of the information learned in these chats.

“Getting ground-troop data and then effectively communicating that to us is just vital to our operations here,” Cramer said.

“You have many offices watching the same storm,” Kelly said. “And it’s a team work effort in terms of keeping you updated.”

To stay up-to-date on all the latest weather, download the KOAM Sywatch App for Android or iPhone.

You can also find our special weather brochures around town.