Following in the footsteps of Earth Day, this week offers earthlings an opportunity to look up and celebrate and appreciate the meteorological sky overhead. Coined National Sky Awareness Week (SAW – which is what the week is all about, seeing), the event has been featured in Chase’s Calendar of Events for nearly two decades (after an official start in 1991).
This week (April 24 – 30, 2016), we can add “storm spotting” to the SAW menu. That’s because the second of three severe thunderstorm events this week, involving a major tornado outbreak, is expected today and Wednesday. Storm spotters (including law enforcement personnel, Amateur Radio operators and trained individuals) routinely scan the skies and report about the key cloud formations and weather events they observe to the National Weather Service and local emergency managers.
Meteorologist H. Michael Mogil and educator Barbara Levine, of How The Weatherworks, a weather education and forensic services company, conceived the idea of Sky Awareness Week. The event/celebration has been recognized in over 40 states and the District of Columbia. Sky Awareness Week is held every year during the last full week of April.
The goal of Sky Awareness Week is to get people of all ages outside, to “look up” and to see the myriad of cloud patterns and formations that grace the sky. Once someone has done this, they will be primed to look at all parts of their natural world and examine the patterns and shapes that tell about our very existence here on Planet Earth.
This year, we are encouraging people to post their sky photographs at our Sky Awareness Week Facebook Page. If you do post, please be sure to indicate location, direction of view, date and time of the photograph and a copyright/ownership notice. I’ll be posting a few photographs that I have taken the past few days with this article.
© 2016 H. Michael Mogil
Originally posted 4/26/16