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Citizens Science Day highlights amateur weather watchers' contributions to Billings NWS

Windsock
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Nantes, France-07 28 2021:Windsock floating in the wind, Nantes, France.

The National Weather Service is calling this Saturday "Citizens Science Day."

The Billings weather office will use Facebook Live to highlight their weather spotters and observers and share what weather is all about.

The virtual event will cover the work of weather service meteorologists and the vital information they receive from weather observers and citizen scientists.

John Wetenkamp is the science and operations officer with the Billings Weather Service. He says weather observers and spotters provide “ground truth": real-time information meteorologists can compare to radar and satellites data and improve their forecasts.

"We need verification to know what is happening on the ground," Wetenkamp said. "That is information is so critical to what we do here at the National Weather Service."

The event will stream beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday on Billings Weather Service’s Facebook page.

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.