Storm Spotter training tonight

Published 9:14 am Monday, April 11, 2016

If you’re the type who loves to check the forecast, monitors the weather throughout the day and gets a little eager when you spot a storm blowing in, the National Weather Service (NWS) has an opportunity for you.

The NWS program SKYWARN is a citizen-driven weather monitoring aid that provides reports from trained citizens in both remote and densely populated areas.

The Storm Spotter training, held every few years will take place Monday for private citizens, emergency responders and others with an interest in public service and access to communication like HAM radio.

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“They tell you what to look for and what’s significant, and that allows them to confirm or refute forecasts,” said Carter County Emergency Management Agency Director Gary Smith.

Program participants will learn the fundamentals of thunderstorm development, storm structure, how to identify potential severe weather features, what information to report, how to report and basic severe weather safety.

The event is organized by a number of local and national weather and emergency management agencies to improve the accuracy of weather forecasting to provide more accurate  and current weather reports.

The Storm Spotter training will take place on Monday, April 11 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Northeast Community College Wellmont Center for the Performing Arts in Blountville.

Once trained, residents be qualified to call in weather reports to the NWS.

“Residents can call in tips when they have a storm in their area, which makes forecasting easier,” said Smith.

The class is free, and Smith said online registration is highly recommended. At last count, Smith said more than 130 people had registered. Parking is available at NESCC and no permit is required after 5 p.m.

The register online, visit To register by phone, contact Smith at 423-542-1888.