I have been involved in receiving Weather Satellite imagery or Weather Facsimile (WEFAX), and polar APT, for the last 20 years from my own home-based reception station, which is also registered with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) - Station ID 127191.
I have also been in regular contact with the operational personnel at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is a US federal agency that has operational authority over all of the Weather & Atmospheric satellites - orbiting or geostationary - that the USA puts up there and does so for 'everyone' to receive, process and disseminate ... not just official Met Offices, as I've been told once like if I was doing something wrong.
NOAA personnel would contact me via e-mail and even phone conference calls in the earlier years – mid to late 1990’s and early 2000’s – when I reported problems via e-mail.
Since the GOES (analogue) WEFAX was discontinued in 2005 and switched to (digital) Low-Rate Information Transmission (LRIT) and after a short hiatus when I had no LRIT reception equipment until late August 2006, I once again became in intermittent contact with NOAA operational staff. About a year later and after they had been experiencing some more than normal issues with LRIT transmission and as I was one who was helping them, I have since been placed on NOAA's e-mail short list of LRIT GOES users who, along with there own internal staff, are automatically forwarded any e-mails sent to the general LRIT@noaa.gov e-mail account (including spam and spoofing of said e-mail, I might add).
I process and post my own imagery and data to my web site, which I have operated for about 10+ years now - http://www.brohavwx.com - and upload my Weather Station data (shared with my father) to the Weather Underground site, along with a few other like souls on the island. In addition, I provide this same data to the Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP) - see http://www.wxqa.com/ - via the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) over the internet ... my station data can be found at http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/wxpage.cgi?DW1558
I also invested in a Lightning Detector back in 1995 which shows lightning strikes from thunderstorm activity around Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, which was displayed on a radar-like screen. Initially the nominal range was about 300 miles, in recent years software and technology advancements have allowed the range to be twice or three times that. This is also displayed on the web site and has been used by many who traverse the islands over the years.
There are other professionals that have contacted over the years and several more who appreciate having my web site to turn to, even if but for a cross reference when other local data is scarce to come by.
This 'may' sound lofty but they are many who do much more than I do and who are not attached to any official Met Office. Which, on a personal note, is something that I do not think our local Met Office has come to grips with as yet ... amateur volunteers out here that just love studying the weather, etc.
My original background is in Physics, Math. and Computer Science - I am a senior (Applications/Database/Software) Systems Consultant – so the general aptitude is there but really it is not that necessary for basic deduction using some experience and common sense.
Thanks for stopping by,
David G. Brooks