COLONY - On Thursday, March 2, the Town of Colony will host a storm spotter class presented by the Huntsville office of the National Weather Service (NWS) and sponsored by the Cullman County Emergency Management Agency (CEMA). The event will take place at the Colony Community Center, 538 Colony Road, beginning at 6 p.m. NWS storm spotter training is free, and no pre-registration is required.
The NWS storm spotter program is known as SKYWARN, and is defined on the Huntsville office's website as:
“...the NWS program of trained volunteer weather spotters. SKYWARN spotters coordinate with local emergency management officials and send reports of weather based phenomena to the NWS.
“In addition to serving as a community's first line of defense against dangerous storms, spotters provide important information to warning forecasters who make critical warning decisions. SKYWARN storm spotters play a critical role of giving the NWS vital ground truth data, which helps the NWS perform our primary mission, to save lives and property.”
SKYWARN training classes take approximately two hours, and cover the following topics:
* Basics of thunderstorm development
* Fundamentals of storm structure
* Identifying potential severe weather features
* Information to report
* How to report information
* Basic severe weather safety
Storm spotters are not "storm chasers." Storm spotters are not expected to drive into the paths of dangerous storms, rather, they observe and report information back to the CEMA and/or NWS when needed.
For more information, contact CEMA at 256-739-5410, or visit the NWS Huntsville SKYWARN site http://www.weather.gov/hun/skywarn.
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