SKYWARN storm spotter classes offered

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 11, 2008


Ironically, the storms come in just as the Dallas Homeland Security and Emergency Management office plans its SKYWARN Storm Spotter training. The training is set for Feb. 12. SKYWARN is a group of trained volunteer weather spotters, who coordinate with the local emergency management agency to report hazardous weather to the National Weather Service.

The training is free and classes don&8217;t last more than two hours.

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The basic trainer for first-timers is 5:30 p.m., Feb. 12, in the Dallas County Commission Courtroom. The advanced training is at 10 a.m., Feb. 12, in the Dallas County Commission Courtroom.

Pam Cook, director of the Dallas County EMA, said a representative from the Birmingham National Weather Service bureau will teach trainees how to spot cloud formations and how to determine the severity of a storm based on wind speeds.

Most people think of storm chasers when they hear the phrase &8220;storm spotters,&8221; she said.

Cook said being a registered spotter means you are trained in how to discern weather conditions and then are given the means and outlet to spot storms and report them to the National Weather Service.