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Storm spotter training to be offered in Wilson County

By Sara McManamy-Johnson sjohnson@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated Mar 27, 2014 at 12:04 AM

With the spring storm season approaching, the National Weather Service is readying its eyes and ears on the ground.

The agency will offer a Skywarn spotter training class in Wilson County on Saturday.

The class, which will be held from 10 a.m. until noon at the Wilson Emergency Management training building at 115 Oak Street in Lebanon, is free and open to the public.

“Anybody who wants to learn more about severe weather, about how tornadoes form, lightning…they’re going to talk about those sort of things,” said WEMA Capt. Steve Spencer. “We’re hosting it, but it’s being taught by the National Weather Service.”

According to Skywarn’s website, the program began in the late 1960s and was intended to promote cooperation between the National Weather Service and local communities. Through the program, trained community members report local weather conditions such as wind-gust strength, hail size, rainfall amounts and cloud formations that could signal developing tornadoes.

The weather service then uses this information to help generate forecasts and issue warnings and alerts to the public at-large.

Saturday’s class will include:

• basics of thunderstorm development.

• fundamentals of storm structure.

• identifying potential severe weather features.

• information to report.

• how to report information.

• basic severe weather safety.

“It’s open to anybody who wants to come and learn more or ask questions about severe weather,” said Spencer. “The weather service experts will be there to answer all those questions.”

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