Public invited to Feb. 13 event about storm safetyBy SPECIAL TO THE SUN-SENTINEL,
The spring severe storm season is approaching. Are you ready for whatever is in store? Do you have a severe weather plan at your home and your workplace? Can you recognize the clues that suggest large hail, flash flooding, or a tornado is possible? Do you want to become part of the severe weather warning system in your county?
As part of its area-wide weather preparedness campaign, the National Weather Service in Memphis will answer these and other questions at a Skywarn storm spotter training program on Tuesday, Feb. 13, from 6-8 p.m., at the Emmett Till Interpretive Center in Sumner. The event is held in partnership with the Tallahatchie County Emergency Management Agency.
The program will discuss thunderstorm formation, severe weather production and features associated with severe storms. The presentation will also review tornado formation and behavior, non-threatening clues which may be mistaken for significant features, and safety tips to keep in mind when thunderstorms threaten.
The program will discuss spotter operations and recommended reporting procedures. The two-hour presentation will be in multimedia format, featuring numerous pictures of storms and nearly 25 minutes of storm video.
The network of trained storm spotters plays an important role across Tallahatchie County.
“We could not do our job as well as we do without storm spotters. Spotter reports were huge during the December 2015 tornadoes,” said Gary Woodall, warning coordination meteorologist at the Memphis NWS office. “Radar and satellite are great tools, but they only tell us part of a storm’s story. The combination of spotter reports and radar data gives us the best possible picture of storms and what’s going on inside them.”
The Sumner program is free and open to the public.
“By coming to this program, you will learn a lot about thunderstorms,” Woodall said. “Even if you don’t become an active storm spotter, you will learn about how storms work and the visual clues you can identify when storms are in your area. We will discuss severe weather safety tips. This will better prepare yourself and your family for the threats that storms pose.”
The Tallahatchie County severe weather program is one of over 15 that the Memphis NWS office will conduct during February and March.
The National Weather Service in Memphis provides forecasts, warnings, and weather services for 57 counties across the Mid-South.
For more information on severe weather and the National Weather Service, visit the Memphis Forecast Office’s website at www.weather.gov/memphis.