Free storm spotter training open to the public

March 23, 2013 by  

Miami residents who find storms a source of excitement or interest may wish to attend a Storm Spotter Training session to be held here in Miami at the Civic Center in a few days.

The address for the class is 129 5th Street NW, Miami. Emergency First Responders and volunteer rescue personnel are asked to attend the session, but it is also open to the public. The training requires no preregistration and is free.

Storm spotters play an important part in information gathering and prediction throughout Northwestern Arkansas and Oklahoma. Their first-hand severe weather reports are critical to their local civic authorities, as well as the Tulsa National Weather Service office for making decisions regarding weather related warnings.

The Tulsa office offers training on the matter each winter and spring to police, fire, and emergency personnel, as well as amateur radio operators. A group such as an emergency management agency coordinates these training sessions locally, with instructors being NWS meteorologists.

Although recognizing tornadoes is a big part of the training, it is by no means all there is to learn. Participants are provided with information to help them understand storm structure in hopes of preparing spotters for the extreme circumstances they may find themselves in. Previous attendees will find updated information on NWS technology as well as the latest procedures and organizing ideas for developing and coordinating spotter groups.

Those interested in attending and perhaps forming spotter groups should bring along a supply of their digital business cards to swap with other attendees. The upcoming class will take place on March 26 at 6:30 pm.