Interested in Weather? Become a National Weather Service Storm Spotter!
A free training class will be held in Smithville on April 22nd at 6:30 p.m.that will teach people how to properly identify and report significant weather phenomena and contribute to public safety. The class will be held in the community room of the Smithville City Hall building.
Even with sophisticated technology like radar and satellites, The National Weather Service still needs ground truth information from trained weather spotters throughout the year.
Charlie Parker, DeKalb County Emergency Management Coordinator and Smithville Fire Chief, says you will learn about how thunderstorms work, how to identify cloud features associated with microbursts and tornadoes, visually estimate wind speeds, and how your reports tie in to warnings and advisories issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). In addition, you will learn about all of the services available from the NWS. "Mr. Tom Johnstone of the National Weather Service is coming to DeKalb County to conduct a storm spotter class. The whole community is invited. No registration is required. Just show up that night. The class is approximately two hours long and it involves familiarizing everybody with the weather including when conditions are right for tornadoes. You will become a certified storm spotter and you will be given a phone number you can call and report to the National Weather Service from your areas. We encourage anybody interested in weather to come to this class, from a novice to emergency personnel. It's a really interesting class. We want to get DeKalb County certified as a storm ready county and in doing that we must have these storm spotter classes. We have people scattered out around the county that would be able to help us in the event of a storm. If they see funnel clouds or tornadoes that pop up they could report it."
Adult volunteers are community minded individuals, who understand that they play an essential role in providing storm information to the National Weather Service. Anyone can be a spotter.