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Deadline approaches for Storm Spotters

The Dallas County Emergency Management Agency will sponsor their Annual National Weather Service Storm Spotter Training at the Central Alabama Farmers’ Co-op on Thursday, Oct. 20 beginning at 6 p.m.

“Local trained spotters have been instrumental during significant weather events in spotting funnel clouds or tornados.” “By having local, trained spotters reporting information, as it is happening, to the NWS or the EMA Office, it provides critical data that the NWS uses to assist their office in providing an accurate forecast.” Citizens who take the spotter class are not required to report any data, however, “if received data is coming from a trained spotter, it allows the NWS and EMA to know that the individual reporting the information has received the spotter training and can positively identify cloud formations and weather phenomena.”

SKYWARN is the National Weather Service program of trained volunteer weather spotters. Storm spotters come from many walks of life, including fire fighters, law enforcement, amateur radio operators and citizens. SKYWARN spotters coordinate with local emergency management officials and send reports of weather based phenomena to the NWS.

In addition to serving as a community’s first line of defense against dangerous storms, spotters provide important information to warning forecasters who make critical warning decisions.

SKYWARN storm spotters play a critical role of giving the NWS vital ground truth data, which helps the NWS perform its primary mission, to save lives and property.

Registration is required to attend Storm Spotter Training.

Residents or first responders may register for the 2011 Storm Spotter Training by calling the EMA office at (334)874-2515. Registration ends Friday, Oct. 14.
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