Have a weather curiosity or want to know more about the Central Texas severe weather season?
Come pose your atmospheric questions to a panel of weather experts, including our YNN team of meteorologists and explore a wide range of weather related activities at the second annual Austin WeatherFest.
This free event takes place Saturday, Feb. 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.
Here's a look at what to expect.
On the front plaza: You can’t miss the University of Oklahoma's Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching (SMART) radar truck, deployed out front to offer a hands-on tour of this mobile radar platform. You'll also want check out today’s best storm chasers showing off their high tech chase vehicles in the adjacent parking lot.
University of Oklahoma's SMART radar truck chases a severe storm
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Weatherfest Activities (Grand Lobby, 2nd Floor Lobby, Classrooms)
The weather community aims to protect life and property from the worst of weather. We also want to get the young (and young at heart) excited about science.
Meet the wide range of partner agencies who focus on weather daily, including the:
· City of Austin's Watershed Protection department (with new flash flood simulator)
· Girlstart (activities for kids including a chance to "do the weather", make weather crafts, and learn about weather equipment through hands-on construction)
· Lower Colorado River Authority (monitoring the Colorado watershed & Highland Lakes)
· Austin Fire Department’s Swift Water Rescue team (demonstrating a rescue boat)
· US Geological Survey (stream flow and flood monitoring)
· CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow network)
· Texas Floodplain Manager's Association with TADDpole (flash flood safety)
· Southwest Texas Rain Enhancement Association (cloud-seeding and weather modification)
· Spotternetwork.org (storm reports & advanced tools for chasing tornadoes)
· CAMM (Connect a Million Minds) program from Time Warner Cable
· team of meteorologists from YNN Austin’s Weather on the 8s
10:00am - 11:30am – Session I - Skywarn Training (Austin Room)
Paul Yura from the Austin-San Antonio National Weather Service Forecast Office presents Basic Skywarn stormspotter training. This workshop is geared for the general public – anyone who wants to know more about how storms form and move in Central Texas and how to safely identify and accurately report severe weather threats, so that watches and warnings can be issued ahead of the threat. Skywarn is a national volunteer program.
11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. - Educator Weather Presentation “Central Texas Weather” (Texas Spirit Theater)
From ice in winter to tornadoes in spring to 100 degree days in summer, Central Texans face a wide range of weather elements throughout the year and many arrive without much notice. This workshop takes us through a pictorial view of local weather extremes and offers safety tips geared for all ages. Learn how flash flooding, one of the easiest severe threats to avoid, actually claims more lives than any other storm phenomenon in the Lone Star State. We’ll also discuss how Austin sees one tornado every year on average. This session qualifies as one hour of continuing education for educators.
12:00 p.m.- 1:00 p.m. – Session II – Storm Chase Videos and Q & A with Storm Chasers (Austin Room)
Storm chasers show off recent chase videos and discuss tactics, equipment and techniques they employ to get stunning images of some of nature’s most violent moments. Videos will be limited to five minutes each. During this session, meteorologists and storm chasers will field questions from the audience.
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Spotter Training Safety Session (Austin Room)
This course offers a “method” to individual safety while storm spotting for both Skywarn and the Spotternetwork. The course is designed for both new and experienced spotters. New spotters will learn the hazards they may face and methods for dealing with these hazards. Experienced spotters will find this a great review of how to stay safe in the field.