Monday, February 27, 2012

Skywarn training in Athens, TN tonight 2/27/12

Skywarn training is being offered tonight at Athens, TN. Once trained, participants are called spotters. This free class is offered by the National Weather Service. Its purpose of Skywarn is to train everyday citizens how to spot dangerous weather or to confirm it. Radar can tell staff if conditions are favorable for severe weather but doesn't always tell the story of what is actually happening, in real time, on the ground.

That's where Skywarn Spotters come into play. They confirm conditions or call in bad weather as they see it unfold. Most often, people think of spotters as being activated during storms or tornado season. It's true that this is when we are most active. However; Skywarn Spotters can also be activated during ice or snowstorms.

After taking a class in North Carolina we received a winter call about ice. Power lines were down and tree tops were breaking under the pressure. At the time, it was the largest winter related disaster in the history of NC. As a Skywarn spotter, I was called to measure snow and report on the layer of ice that was involved. Over 1/2 million people would be out of power before it was over. Our county was the hardest hit.

National Weather Service Skywarn trainings like his are offered all over East Tennessee. To find one near you, visit the website of the National Weather Service. If you're going to be at the training in Athens, TN tonight be sure to say hello. I'll be there too.