NEWS

Well, we had a good but quiet year in weather. We had a few outings and a couple of hail storms. One of which caused another record breaking round of damage dollarwise, and a couple of localized flooding events that raised the level of Lake Travis some 15 feet . Aside from that, there were no hurricanes to speak of, and no other real severe weather to deal with. It looks as though we are entering into an El Nino cycle, and we are having a cold Winter so far, with a very early but minimal snow event on December 4th. The outlook seems to favor a colder than average Winter, so we will have to see what comes our way. Beyond that, we are awaiting the next Austin Skywarn class, which is the 20th annual Lou Withrow class, and will be held on Saturday, February 20th, at the J.J. Pickle center on Burnet Rd. LSSN will have a heavy presence there (and another face to face meeting), as will TSSI, who is a sponsoring entity of the event. We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, and a safe and happy Holiday season.

As of 3/29/09, we are working on updating and rebuilding the website. It has been virtually unchanged since 2007, and the time has come to finally get it caught up. Over the next few days you will see some changes in its look and information. It is long overdue, and my apologies are in order for letting it slide. We have had some changes to the group as well, but are still active, strong, and serving the community as always. As we move into the 2009 severe weather season, we look forward to the things to come for this year. Stay tuned.

Everything below here is currently archived news stories from 2007 and beyond.

As of mid 2007, most of the members of LSSN have taken a second (voluntary but suggested) Skywarn based test. This futher supports our training initiative, and reinforces the fact that our members have knowledge and experience to safely report severe weather, and do so with the publics safety and confidence in mind. All members have taken and passed the initial required test 2-3 years ago, or is an ongoing process requirement for joining. All members are hams, and are over 25, and are mature, responsible drivers. The NWS offices we work with have a current copy of our roster with our spotter numbers for reporting purposes. We have had numerous flooding and storm activity this year, but the moderators have been too busy to post most of it. A good portion of it is posted on the TSSI site.

 

We have had some activity this year and are glad to see the return of some active weather. Most of it has been involving TSSI due to location. Click Here to see the latest action.
The 18th Annual Lou Withrow Skywarn Advanced training class is scheduled for Saturday, February 23rd. Same place and times: J.J. Pickle Research Center near Burnet & Braker in Austin. See last years link below for map of parking areas.
The 17th annual Lou Withrow Skywarn Class is scheduled for Saturday, February 10th. 2007 at the J.J. Pickle Research Center in North Austin (same as last year). Registration begins at 8:15 and class will start around 9:00. It is free and open to the public. This is the closest thing to an annual face to face meeting we have for LSSN. We hope to issue new ID's and stickers, so please try to attend. CLICK HERE for facility and parking map.
On Saturday, November 5th, LSSN, TSSI, Williamson County ARES, and Williamson County Ameteur Radio Club held our annual S.E.T. Disaster Drill. The "War of the worlds" scenario was pulled off, still surprising some folks who happened onto the repeater, even with the "This is a drill" announcements that were made almost every minute. Pics and audio files are here on the site. Thanks to all-Williamson County kicked butt again, and showed fellow ARES groups how an S.E.T. drill is supposed to be. We had a full blown, scripted weather net, involving 3 tornadoes, the last one being an F4 which wiped out key parts of Cedar Park and Georgetown, successfully activated 4 EOC's, and had 40 members involved in the drill. The goal was to stress test the system and the repeaters. I think we did that pretty well. Traffic was passed among all 4 EOC's, concerning damage, injuries/fatalities, Emergency Services response and dispatching. Granted it was only 4 hours, but with all the activity we had this year with the hurricanes, Tom didn't feel the need to push everyone any longer than that.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY PROVIDED AN ESTIMATED 20% OF THE TOTAL RESPONSE FOR SUPPORT FOR TEXAS IN THE RITA DISASTER - WAY TO GO GUYS!

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THE 2006 LOU WITHROW 16TH ANNUAL SKYWARN ADVANCED TRAINING CLASS IS SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY - JANUARY 14TH, FROM 8:00AM - 4:00PM. IT WILL BE HELD AT THE J.J. PICKLE RESEARCH CENTER, AT BURNET RD. AND BRAKER LN. IN NORTH AUSTIN. ENTER GATE ON BURNET RD. IT IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND ADMISSION IS FREE. TSSI CHASE UNITS WILL BE ON DISPLAY AT THE FRONT OF THE BUILDING AS ALWAYS. THIS IS A SECURE FACILITY-NO WEAPONS. LUNCH WILL NOT BE PROVIDED, BUT THERE ARE PLENTY OF FAST FOOD PLACES NEARBY.

"AL MOLLER OF NWS-DFW WILL BE SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER"

WE ARE WORKING WITH WILLIAMSON COUNTY ARES ON A LARGE SCALE S.E.T. DISASTER DRILL. THIS IS AN ANNUAL DRILL EVENT. TSSI/LSSN WILL BE A LARGE PART OF THIS DRILL, WORKING WITH WILCO AND OTHER EMERGENCY OUTLETS IN THE PROCESS. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MONITOR THIS EVENT, IT WILL BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 5TH, FROM 8:00AM TO 12:30PM ON THE 147.080 REPEATER, AND ON THE 146.640 REPEATER. BOTH OF THESE CAN BE MONITORED VIA SCANNER.

LSSN RECENTLY ATTENDED THE 15TH ANNUAL LOU WITHROW AUSTIN ADVANCED SKYWARN CLASS. THIS YEAR THE LOCATION CHANGED TO THE J.J. PICKLE RESEARCH CENTER, FROM THE 3M FACILITY IT HAS BEEN PREVIOUSLY FOR MANY YEARS. ATTENDANCE WAS DOWN A BIT (204) FROM PREVIOUS YEARS, PRIMARILY DUE TO THE NASTY WEATHER THAT DAY, AND THE LOCATION CHANGE. IT WAS THE USUAL GOOD SHOW, WITH UPDATED MATERIAL. TSSI MADE A PRESENTATION. KXAN DID THEIR LIVE SHOW FROM 7-9 AM. NEWS 8 WAS ON HAND FOR SOME SHOTS ALSO. LARRY EBLEN HAD SOME NEAT VIDEO WITH LOUD MUSIC BEHIND IT, WHICH WOKE EVERYBODY UP. ALL IN ALL IT WAS A GOOD SHOW. SPECIAL THANKS TO TROY KIMMEL, LARRY GENSCH, AND TAMMY MATE FOR PUTTING THE SHOW TOGETHER. WITHOUT THEM, IT COULDN'T CONTINUE TO OCCUR EVERY YEAR AS WELL AS IT DOES.

PHOTOS WERE TAKEN FOR LSSN ID CARDS WHILE WE WERE AT THE AUSTIN SKYWARN, AND WILL BE MADE SOON AND DISTRIBUTED TO THOSE WHO ATTENDED AND ARE SHOWING TO BE ACTIVE IN THE ORGANIZATION. THE NWS RECOGNIZES OUR GROUP, AND HAS A ROSTER OF MEMBERS ON HAND TO REFER TO WHEN RECEIVING REPORTS FROM ANY OF OUR TESTED MEMBERS.
AS OF JULY 5TH, 2004, CENTRAL TEXAS STORM SPOTTERS HAS BEEN RENAMED TO "LONE STAR STORM SPOTTERS NETWORK" OR "LSSN". THE WEBSITE WILL REMAIN THE SAME FOR AWHILE UNTIL WE CHANGE THE DOMAIN. ALL MEMBERS ARE REQUIRED TO FILL OUT THE APPLICATION FORM WITH PERTINENT INFO, PASS (WITH AN 80) THE 25 QUESTION SKYWARN TEST, AND WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE ACTIVE IN SOME FORM. THE NEW YAHOO GROUP SITE IS LINKED HERE. IF YOU WISH TO BECOME A MEMBER, SEND AN EMAIL TO N5SSI, FOUND IN THE "OFFICERS" PAGE OF THIS SITE.

This is a photo of "The Jarrell Watch". It was found on property South of 71 in far Western Travis County, in the area of the ending damage path of the Pedernales portion of the Tornado, which is where alot of the Jarrell debris ended up. The time on the watch matches exactly to when Jarrell was hit-3:42pm, if you allow for the tilt in the face. An independent watch dealer confirmed it was sold between a summer 96 and fall 98 time period. It is believed that it was hung in the cedar trees, and another thunderstorm had knocked it down, where it was found. There is also alot of other debris in this area which is undoubtably from the twister also. We will search the area shortly for more findings. At the time, my damage survey ended just short of this location, as beyond it was uninhabited and inaccessible. Growth has allowed for access now. Will follow up with any further findings. The watch and the dealers report will be turned over to Larry Eblen at NWS New Braunfels for display on their "Jarrell Wall" in the office.

 
 
LSSN is now taking info for those members who want to be active spotters (which will require a skywarn based test). If you are interested, please send all vital info; name, full mailing address, cell/pager # you can be reached at always, call sign, county, years of skywarn experience, age, email, and a face picture for an ID, which will be issued in the near future. You must be on the mailing list, be willing to be an active spotter, a repeater owner, or actively employed by an Emergency Management entity, and have had a skywarn class. A database will be built for our records, and all info you send will be kept confidential, with the exception of a group roster in the future, which will have your name, call sign, and ID #. Please DO NOT send info to the group mailing, rather, send it to CHASE-1at austin.rr.com . Remember, your participation in spotting is a vital role in the safety of life and property of your own family, friends, and neighbors.
 
Jeff Geyer has now been assigned the Coastal Coordinator position for LSSN. He has also started the GCSS-Gulf Coast Storm Spotters group. Jeff has done alot of work and is reaping and acquiring the benefits. He has made contact with the NWS office and they are very interested in us. They are also considering handing over the Skywarn program to him for that area. This is great news and we will be there to assist him in any way we can. GCSS will run in tandem with LSSN. Please check it out and if you are nearer his area, join his group also.
 
The SKYWARN spotter network is a vital element in the nation's ability to react to dangerous and threatening weather. Spotters are a crucial front-line part of the Weather Service's storm warning program; they provide up-to-the-minute reports on developing storms and for confirming reports on storms that appear threatening. Most importantly, spotters' reports help give communities a first line of defense against hazardous weather.

It does not overstate the importance of spotter reports to say that the weather safety of the U.S. public rests on the quality and timeliness of those ground truth reports. While there have been important strides in storm detection technology, ground truth observations remain crucial to effective storm warnings. And while the scientific understanding of storm structure has grown, on-the-spot observations remain at the heart of continuing to increase that body of knowledge. Spotters are the eyes and ears of the National Weather Service.

NOTE: One of the new traffic laws that went into effect on Sept. 1st, 2003 is a safety measure for emergency vehicles stopped on the side of, or in the roadway. If their lights are flashing, you MUST either move over and give them an entire empty lane of buffer zone, or if unable to get over, slow down at least 20 MPH below the posted speed limit. Obviously it is preferred to move over, but if unable to, slow down and move to the edge of your lane as much as possible and be ready to avoid a situation. They may be doing a felony stop and end up running or falling into the roadway if shots are fired. They are enforcing this law. You will frequently see a unit stopped, issuing a ticket, and further down the road will be one or more units waiting for someone who fails to follow this law. They will write you a ticket for it.