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MEWS Weather Reporting and Observation Lessons
By Gregory Lee - HS0ZHM/KI6GIG
Introduction to "MEWS"
The Mobile EmergencyWeatherStation....MEWS was created to meet a need to provide weather data from a disaster area when normal weather reporting does not exist. This could be due to damage/destruction of existing weather stations or being in remote areas where no weather station existed.
Although a relatively new Ham with little practical operating ability and experience, I wanted to make a contribution to the ham radio field and my community. So I drew on my background in geography teaching to create these MEWS lessons for Hams who might be interested to learn to make weather observations and be able to report them from a disaster area.
I tailored the weather data to include specific data helpful to helicopter pilots.
Supporting flight operations with this data would improve flight safety, especially when pilots will likely fly from outside the area. Also, weather data can be used to better coordinate logistics and supplies the survivors need. I have read many accounts of disaster relief which document the mismatch of arriving aid and supplies to the needs of the survivors. Having weather data from the disaster site could help emergency response planners.
It is one thing to teach lessons in a classroom where things tend to be more abstract.
MEWS is an "out of the box" (esp the box of the classroom) practical way to learn to make weather observations. There may be some criticism that it is a bit crude and not up to World Meteorological Org. standards, but then hey...if you are in a disaster situation, and you are a pilot flying to an unknown destination, my guess is that any weather report is better than none.
What MEWS strives to do is to make the weather reports consistent and relevant to relief mission pilots and emergency response planners. So by setting up "Sparky" to do MEWS, I feel that I am living what I am suggesting others could do. It is my feeling that MEWS helps enhance the value of an EmComm ham. It can be done from home, looking out a window, or by folks on the ground and in the mud.
The MEWS lessons have been classroom and field tested. These lessons grew from my college geography field methods course. They were adapted to outdoor education lessons used by community groups in Los Angeles and Thailand. See the Student Weather Observations from 2007 here at the Na Fa elementary school as an example.
I also adapted them for use in GROW (Getting Real On-farm Weather) which is part of a sustainable agriculture effort we are doing in Thailand at the Rural Training Center there.
The link below will take you to the MEWS lesson directory with information on how to access the lessons and materials in another link posted on that page. Follow the instructions there to go to the lessons.
I would like your help, my fellow ham, to spread the word that these lessons are available free of charge for non-commercial use to help and to make the world a better place.
Greg HS0ZHM / KI6GIG
Go to the MEWS Lesson Directory here (All files are pdf format and are off site. Always look for updated information with each visit to their site)