The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Wilmington uses Doppler radar and satellite pictures as its primary tools to detect severe weather. However, the most important tool for observing thunderstorms is the trained eye of the storm spotter. Doppler radar gives indications of air motions inside a storm, but will not show the wind at ground level. It is impossible for any radar to detect every severe weather event in its coverage area, and radar occasionally suggests severe weather when, in fact, none is present. As a trained spotter, you perform an invaluable service for the NWS. Your real-time observations of tornadoes, hail, wind, and significant cloud formations provide a truly reliable information base for severe weather detection and verification. By providing observations, you are assisting the meteorologists at Wilmington in their warning decisions, and enabling the NWS to fulfill its mission of protecting life and property. You are helping to provide the citizens of your community with potentially life-saving information.

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