The Guthrie County and Adair County Emergency Management Agency will host a storm spotter training session in the Menlo Community Building on Wednesday, March 20 at 7 pm. The training session is open to all county responders including fire/EMS, law enforcement, disaster volunteers, communication, public works, and the public. The class is required every two years to be a registered storm spotter with the National Weather Service.
The session usually lasts two hours, providing basic information on the formation of severe weather storms and how they function; what to report, as well as how and where to communicate the information. Following training, individuals may register as a severe storm spotter on the National Weather Service website or at spotter training session. This would enable meteorologists to call and get real time information and to confirm severe weather activity indicated on Doppler radar images in the person's vicinity.
"One person could make the difference in the potential injuries or deaths from a severe storm or tornado," states Robert Kempf, Emergency Management coordinator for both counties. "By being aware of the possibility of severe weather or tornadoes in your area, you can react to rapidly changing weather conditions, and improve the safety of you, your family and your community in such an event. As a trained spotter serving your area and providing the National Weather Service with severe storm reports, meteorologists can correlate your real-time information of storm activity with the data they are receiving by radar," said Kempf.
With accurate ground truth reports along with radar images and other meteorological data available to weather service personnel, the decision can be made whether or not to issue a storm warning to the public.
With timely reports of severe storm activity volunteered by citizens and data from improved technology at the National Weather Service offices, the numbers of injuries and deaths in Iowa from severe weather can be minimized. -The Stuart Herald.