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EMA: Weather Spotters

Peoria County Emergency Management Agency volunteers and the Peoria County Fire Departments provide weather spotting during severe weather events.

Our volunteers have a strong interest in weather and are people who are genuinely interested in helping the public and serving their community.

Volunteer weather spotters undergo annual and continuing training on severe weather patterns, tactics, and agency policies.

During severe weather the weather spotters are coordinated by the net controller from the Peoria County Emergency Operations Center. The net controller sends radio equipped, trained spotters, in their personal vehicles, to predetermined locations within Peoria County.

Spotter's reports on storm activity and location are collected and forwarded to the National Weather Service in real time. These reports are then blended with NWS observations and data collection to initiate the warning process.

The primary purpose and goal of our spotter's program is activation of the Peoria County's Outdoor Warning System, to alert the citizens outdoors who may be away from other warning media (television, radio) of a tornado, and to forward real time information to the National Weather Service for the warning process.

Instrumentation and radar cannot provide complete or accurate severe weather reporting. Spotters are needed on the ground, in the vicinity of the storm, to provide "ground truth verification".

Volunteers donate thousands of hours and personal resources each year to Peoria County in order to provide advanced warning to the citizens.

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