NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJMN) – Whether it’s sunny, cloudy, stormy, or snowy, the weather never stops, and neither does the National Weather Service!

Although Meteorologists at the National Weather Service’s main responsibility is to make sure the public is protected during active weather events, they have a lot of other responsibilities during quieter weather days.

“We have a whole list of routine duties that forecasters are doing,” explains Matt Zika, a Meteorologist at the National Weather Service. “From issuing special forecasts for our airports across the U.P., special forecasts for marine partners, the folks going across Lake Superior or even just general recreational boaters heading just offshore from Marquette or anywhere on Lake Superior. We also issue special forecasts for our fire weather partners, the DNR, the Forest Service. There’s lots of other things too in addition to those that we’re doing from collecting climate information, issuing hydrology forecasts for the rivers and streams across the U.P., and then also just making sure we’re in constant contact with our core partners, emergency managers, and folks like that to make sure our communities are prepared for whatever weather heads our way.”

A meteorologist is a scientist who observes, studies, or forecasts the weather. The NWS meteorologists use lots of equipment and tools to help them observe, study, and forecast.

If you’ve driven down US Highway 41 in between Marquette and Negaunee, you’ve probably noticed the large white sphere towering over the trees. This is the doppler radar.

The radar is an important tool that works by sending microwave signals through the air that bounce back and send information about precipitation, the structure of storms, and even wind speeds. The Meteorologists use this information to issue warnings and to keep track of the weather.

On days where it rains or snows, they use a tool that catches the precipitations and holds it in a tube. They will take a measuring tool to measure the amount of rain or snow that has accumulated. They do this once every 6 hours.

These are just a few of the tools they use to create their forecasts and observe and study the weather.

“Well, there’s a lot of tools at our disposal, fortunately,” said Zika. “The interesting thing is we have great technology from the Doppler weather radar network, the satellites we have up in outer space, our computer workstations, our advanced weather interactive processing system workstations, lots of words there, that help us underlay overlay any weather data that you can imagine. And that’s how we actually generate our weather forecasts and weather warnings anytime throughout the day or the night.”

These meteorologists have lots of resources and tools to help them do their job, but they still rely on information given from community members.

“Well, there’s lots of ways folks can get involved with regards to being a ‘citizen scientist’ for us,” said Zika. “They can use our social media channels to relay information to us, they can call our office, they can send us emails, probably the simplest way is just to go to our website. And there’s a form on there folks can relay information through a form to us here on the National Weather Service. Or they can there’s an app actually out there, not official National Weather Service app, but it’s called mPing, which allows folks to free download for the app and then instantly let us know if it’s snowing in their backyard or trees have been blown down.”

To get involved in sending the NWS storm reports and other information, you can find their ‘How to Submit Storm Reports’ webpage here. This webpage provides their social media accounts, submission form, email, navigation to the mPing app, and information of types of weather you can submit and how to do it.