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What weather watchers do and how to become one - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

What weather watchers do and how to become one

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SHREVEPORT - BOSSIER CITY -

Weather forecasting is all about information gathering. Besides the raw data from computers, local weather watchers help get the job done.

Find out about our weather watcher program and how you can join.

Forecasting ArkLaTex weather is a challenge as you may know. The conditions are always changing and keeping up with them requires a lot of work. This involves computers to analyze data. It comes from many sources, including weather balloons, automated weather sensors, satellites and radar.

Next, this data is incorporated into the forecast. In addition to the previously mentioned, computer models are required to figure out what our weather might be for the next few hours out to 7 days.

Finally, we put it all together into flashy graphics and present it to you, the viewers.

One key element that helps during times of inclement weather, is our weather watchers. We take their rainfall measurements and sometimes temperatures and plot the data. It helps determine what the weather is doing between the airport weather stations. With these often many miles apart, a lot of weather can happen in between.

We've had weather watchers for years. One gentleman, John Munger, has been faithfully reporting rainfall and temperatures for quite a while.

"Did it for myself then you came along then I got in with you been doing it with you for 12 years" says Munger.

He's the one that reports from the famous Turkey Trail area down south off Ellerbe Road. Munger takes this job seriously by averaging rainfall amounts between several rain gauges and temperatures between many thermometers.

"I've got 4 self working rain gauges...what I mean about self working is that I have to empty them...used against each other including and not excluding...one recording type bucket rain gauge that's there. The 5 are compared against each other so that we don't get a strange kick out and I get more or less than what we got here" says Munger.

Munger is a retired engineer and enjoys the task. Plus, he emails the data to us every night.

So, if you are interested in weather watching, really all you need is a rain gauge. They're very cheap and you can get them at any hardware store. You'll want to locate it outside. Away from fences and trees is where you'll get the most accurate measurements. Of course, if you have any pets, you'll probably want to keep them away from it because they might mess up your readings. Other than that, it's easy stuff and we can certainly use that data.

If you're interested in becoming a weather watcher, email your rainfall data to jhaynes@ktbs.com during the weekday evenings. Mornings, send it to bfowler@ktbs.com and weekends to nshaw@ktbs.com.

We certainly appreciate your help.

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