SKYWARN is the part of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) that serves as the “eyes and ears” of the National Weather Service (NWS) during severe and significant weather. One of the most sophisticated and advanced weather radar and forecasting centers in the world is located here in Juneau, Alaska. However, even with all the advanced Doppler radar, satellites, and other weather related information gathering equipment, there are times when the NWS needs a human to see and report what is actually happening. These volunteers are the weather spotters.(an excerpt from the operations manual which you can download below).