We’re all impacted by the weather, one way or another, but Nebraskans who have a keen interest in the actions of Mother Nature should consider becoming an official spotter.
Kelsey Angle, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service, says spotter training classes start in a few weeks at locations all across the state.
“Storm spotter training is training people to identify when severe weather does occur and then how to report that information to the National Weather Service,” Angle says. “These people are extremely important in the verification process in regards to severe weather and also putting that information into the warnings and statements that we distribute to the public.”
Over the years, hundreds of weather spotters have been trained in Nebraska and Angle says they’re an exceptionally valuable resource.
“The training is free and open to the public,” Angle says. “Participants will go through an hour-and-a-half of training which will include identification of tornadoes, how to measure hail, as well as describe wind damage and how to report that information back to the National Weather Service.”
Sometimes, young people become especially fascinated by the weather and they can make excellent spotters — for life.
“There is no age limit associated with the training,” Angle says. “Anybody that has an interest in weather and reporting information to the National Weather Service is welcome to attend.”
Even if you’ve gone through the training before, he suggests taking the course every year as a refresher.
Some 45 spotter training sessions are planned in Nebraska through April, with the first courses scheduled for February 28th in Otoe and Sheridan counties.