Classes train citizens to be severe weather spotters

Skywarn is an effort to save lives during severe weather emergencies by expanding networks of spotters and by encouraging the widest possible participation in tornado warning programs. There is no way to stop tornadoes, and not all tornadoes show up on radar, but they can be seen. Only one instrument can detect a tornado or funnel with complete certainty, the human eye.

Skywarn training gives an individual the basic tools needed to be a severe weather spotter. Starting with a blue sky, individuals are taught the basics of thunderstorm development, storm structure, what features to look for and where to find them.

The class covers what information to report and how to report it. Basic severe weather safety is also covered. Classes are free and typically last two hours long.

While new technological and scientific tools have advanced the National Weather Service (NWS) capability to predict severe weather, the trained spotter remains essential to the NWS warning process. The more trained "eyes" in the field during a severe weather event, the better service will be provided to the public

Spotter training classes will be offered:

--Wednesday, Feb 23, 7-9 p.m., Rochester Hills Fire Department, Station #1.

--Wednesday, March 2, 7-9 p.m., Oakland County Homeland Security Division.

--Tuesday, March 8, 6-8 p.m.Southfield Civic Center Library.

--Thursday, March 17, 7-9 p.m., Novi PD Training Center.

--Monday, March 21, 7-9 p.m., Groveland Township Fire Department, Station #1.

--Saturday, April 16, 10 a.m. - noon, Oakland County Homeland Security Division.

--Saturday, April 16, 1-3 p.m., Oakland County Homeland Security Division.

All interested parties (i.e. fire, police, EMS, security, volunteers, and citizens) are encouraged to attend.

The Oakland County Homeland Security Division coordinates this program.

Limited space is available. To register, call (248) 858-5300 e-mail ocem@oakgov.com and include date of class, name, address and phone number.

Published: Wed, Feb 9, 2011

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