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Advances in Science and Research Contributions in Applied Meteorology and Climatology
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Volume 15 | Copyright
Adv. Sci. Res., 15, 77-80, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/asr-15-77-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  18 May 2018

18 May 2018

Trusted Spotter Network Austria – a new standard to utilize crowdsourced weather and impact observations

Thomas Krennert1, Rainer Kaltenberger1, Georg Pistotnik1, Alois M. Holzer2, Franz Zeiler3, and Mathias Stampfl3 Thomas Krennert et al.
  • 1ZAMG, Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, 1190 Vienna, Austria
  • 2ESSL, European Severe Storms Laboratory e.V. c/o DLR, Wessling, Germany
  • 3Skywarn Austria, Altenmarkt, Austria

Abstract. Information from voluntary storm spotters has been an increasingly important part for the severe weather warning process at the Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie and Geodynamik (ZAMG), Austria's National Weather Service, for almost 15 years. In 2010 a collaboration was formalized and an annual training was established to educate voluntary observers into Trusted Spotters. The return of this investment is a higher credibility of their observations after these spotters have undergone a basic meteorological training and have become aware of their responsibility.

The European Severe Storms Laboratory (ESSL) was included to this collaboration to adopt their successful quality control system of severe weather reports, which is employed in the European Severe Weather Database ESWD. That way, reports from Trusted Spotters automatically obtain a higher quality flag, which enables a faster processing by forecasters on duty for severe weather warnings, when time is a critical issue. The concept of combining training for voluntary storm spotters and a thorough quality management was recognized as a Best Practice Model by the European Meteorological Society.

We propose to apply this concept also in other European countries and present its advancement into an even broader, pan-European approach. The European Weather Observer app EWOB, recently released by ESSL, provides a novel and easy-to-handle tool to submit weather and respective impact observations. We promote its use to provide better data and information for a further real-time improvement of severe weather warnings.

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