Severe Weather, Storm Spotter training set for LaBarge April 28
by National Weather Service
April 21, 2009
Officials with NOAA’s National Weather Service forecast office in Riverton are looking for interested volunteers to help better protect residents of Lincoln and Sublette counties by providing quality storm reports during severe weather.
Meteorologists from the Riverton forecast office will hold a two-hour Severe Weather Spotter Training class beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 28 at the LaBarge Town Hall. The class is free of charge and open to all area residents interested in weather, thunderstorms, or public safety. All course materials are provided and completion cards will be given to all volunteers.
The training session is complete with videos and digital images to assist volunteers in learning to identify important thunderstorm characteristics, types of severe weather, weather safety, and reporting procedures.
Organized in a partnership between National Weather Service Offices and local county emergency management agencies, volunteer weather spotters play an integral role in assisting forecasters in the weather warning process, according to Chris Jones, warning coordination meteorologist at the Riverton office.
"The low population density across many parts of Wyoming makes our volunteer network a vital cog in obtaining reports of severe weather," Jones said. "Real-time reports from trained volunteer spotters can improve weather warnings for hail, thunderstorm wind gusts, and tornadoes. These reports can help us accurately pin-point weather hazards, and assist us in providing timely notification of where storm damage is likely to occur. We are fortunate to have dedicated individuals to help us better protect residents of our wide open state."
Nearly 1,000 trained spotters assist forecasters at the Riverton office by being those eyes on the ground across 11 western Wyoming counties. Jones encouraged current spotters to attend the training as a refresher course.
Additional information on storm spotting is available on the local National Weather Service website at http://www.weather.gov/riverton/ or by calling the Riverton office at (800) 211-1448.