Spot a storm: NWS offers Skywarn class

Published 10:42 am Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The National Weather Service is offering a class tonight for volunteers interested in becoming storm spotters.

According to the NWS, the Skywarn program was created in the 1960s and has since developed a network of 290,000 trained volunteers who identify and describe severe storms in their local area. The information gathered from these spotters has been used by the NWS to help protect lives and property with timely and accurate weather reporting.

“In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States,” information at skywarn.org states. “These events threatened lives and property.”

Skywarn is offering a class to any interested volunteers tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at Christview Christian Church, 3133 Boonesboro Road next to George Rogers Clark High School.

Winchester/Clark County Emergency Management Director Gary Epperson said that refreshments will be served during the class, and a NOAA weather radio will be given away as a door prize.

“The class is sponsored by the Pioneer Amateur Radio Club, Winchester/Clark County Emergency Management/CSEPP and the Louisville National Weather Service Office,” Epperson said. “It is open to the public.”

The class covers the basics of thunderstorm development, fundamentals of storm structure, how to identify potential severe storm features, how to report to NWS and what information to send and basic severe weather safety.

Classes are free and typically last for two hours.