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Home News-Telegram News Skywarn severe weather workshop set for Thursday

Skywarn severe weather workshop set for Thursday

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Severe and often rapidly changing weather conditions are a normal and inevitable part of life in Texas. However, as with most things, knowledge about weather conditions, particularly early warning signs, can help people better prepare and better respond when inclement weather is imminent.

That’s why National Weather Service meteorologists each year visit counties within their service areas to hold storm spotter training classes.

This year, Mark Fox, warning coordination meteorologist at the Fort Worth NWS office, in partnership with Hopkins County Emergency Management and Sulphur Springs Police Department, will offer a Skywarn severe weather program from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at Sulphur Springs Public Library.

“It’s only two hours now instead of three and a half to four hours, and there’s more video. I’ve seen it and it’s better. It was good before, but this has some really good stuff. Having more video, being able to see things really helps. I encourage anyone interested to attend,” said Sulphur Springs Police Capt. Jay Sanders.

“We have plenty of new material for the training session,” Fox said. “We will be showing the 2013 storms in detail, highlighting the subtle, yet important features.”

The program will include discussion on thunderstorm formation, ingredients and features associated with severe storms; a presentation on tornado formation and behavior; insight into why some storms produce tornadoes and others don’t; non-threatening clues that are sometimes mistaken for significant storm features; and what steps individuals can take to stay safe and help keep others safe as well. 

“By coming to this program, you will learn a lot about thunderstorms. Even if you don’t become an active storm spotter, you will earn how storms work and the visual clues you can identify when storms are in our area. This will better prepare you and your family for the threats that storms pose,” Fox said.

The class is free and prior registration is not required. All interested in storm spotting are welcome along with anyone with an interest in learning more about storms.

“This is a good informative class. Even if you don’t want to be a storm spotter, this class will teach you to what to look for in Texas storms. We live on the edge of tornado alley, really the gray area on the edge. Storms, bad weather, can happen any where at any time. We want people to be informed so they can protect themselves,” Sander said.

The police patrol captain particularly encourages ham operators to attend the Skywarn class Thursday. Ed Olague with the local amateur ham operators group will be on hand to talk to people about a local ham spotters organization being developed locally. The ham operators would man the radio at a base set up at SSPD to coordinate reports from ham operators acting as storm spotters, reporting weather conditions as they develop in Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County.

“They will take care of storm spotting, which will allow us to focus on and take care of police response during storms,” Sanders noted. “We are excited about this. Ed Olague will be there Thursday. Anyone interested in being a part of the ham spotters group, we are asking please be there to get information from Ed. If they are going to be a ham spotter, they will have to have the class.”




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