Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Severe weather season fast approaching: Spotter Training 2009

Being a storm spotter not only means dedication, but also training. Each spring the Cleveland office of the National Weather Service trains members of police & fire departments, emergency management officials, amateur radio operators and weather interested citizens on spotting techniques. Typically the training is coordinated by a local group (such as an emergency management agency), and a NWS meteorologist serves as the guest instructor. The goal of the training is not just to recognize tornadoes, but to have some understanding of storm structure, which in turn better prepares the spotter for the extreme and unusual circumstances.

The National Weather Service (NWS), in conjunction with Lucas County SKYWARN® and the Lucas County Emergency Management Agency, will be holding a SKYWARN® Severe Weather Spotter Training class on Saturday, March 28th at 10:00 AM at St. Luke's Hospital Auditorium in Maumee, Ohio.

The class will last around two hours and includes a multimedia presentation. Gary Garnet, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Cleveland, Ohio, organizes the training each spring. It is open to all citizens interested in severe weather recognition, reporting, and safety and covers: Basics of thunderstorm development; Fundamentals of storm structure; Identifying potential severe weather features; What and how to report; Basic severe weather safety.

The program is updated every year and the National Weather Service recommends spotters take the training every 2-3 years as a refresher. All interested individuals are encouraged to attend this free training and it is not necessary to pre-register. Those who complete the program with be registered with the National Weather Service Cleveland Forecast Office and will be issued a SKYWARN® Spotter ID card.

NWS Cleveland SKYWARN® Spotter Training Schedule for NW Ohio District 1 Counties:

March 5th @ 6:30 PM - Seneca County
March 12th @ 6:30 PM - Wood County
March 16th @ 2:00 PM - Online Webinar*
March 19th @ 6:30 PM - Sandusky County
March 28th @ 10:00 AM - Lucas County
March 31st @ 2:00 PM - Online Webinar*
April 6th @ 6:30 PM - Hancock County
April 13th @ 6:30 PM - Wyandot County
April 14th @ 6:00 PM - Online Webinar*

* Cleveland also offers SKYWARN® Webinar Training, Visit their Website for more information.

Helpful websites:

National Weather Service Cleveland: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/cle/
NW Ohio District 1 SKYWARN®: http://www.nwoskywarn.org/
Lucas County SKYWARN®: http://www.lucascoskywarn.org/

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