Tahlequah Daily Press

January 10, 2014

Storm-spotter training class set for February


Staff

TAHLEQUAH — The National Weather Service will hold a free storm-spotter training next month at Northeastern State University.

Trained storm spotters monitor skies in their community during severe weather events. Storm spotters can provide first-hand severe weather reports to local offices and to the National Weather Service in Tulsa, which use the reports to make critical warning decisions.

According to Ed Calianese, a warning coordination meteorologist out of Tulsa, storm spotters must be dedicated and trained.

Each winter and spring, the Tulsa office of the NWS trains members of police and fire departments, emergency management services, and amateur radio operators on storm-spotting techniques. A meteorologist from the NWS typically serves as a 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,” Calianese said.

Other topics covered in the training include NWS technology and procedures; ideas for organizing and coordinating spotter groups; and important safety considerations.

Training is free, requires no pre-registration, and is open to the public Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the University Center ballroom lounge of NSU.