Skywarn seeks weather spotters

Seneca County’s annual Skywarn Spotter training is approaching and participants are being sought for the free session.

Dan Stahl, director of Seneca County Emergency Management Agency, said every year, the EMA brings in a meteorologist from the National Weather Service to teach attendees how to spot and report severe weather. After the two-and-a-half hour training, each attendee will be an accredited Skywarn spotter.

This year’s training is at 6:30 p.m. March 6 at Sentinel Vocational Center and registration begins at 5:30 p.m.

“It’s usually very successful. We usually have between 80 and 100 attendees,” Stahl said. “We invite anyone who would like to attend it.”

Stahl said the class is very informative.

“We teach you to look for any type of severe weather event,” he said.

After spotting severe weather, a volunteer spotter then provides weather reports to the EMA and to the NWS.

“We give you an 800 number you can call to report into,” Stahl said.

On the flip side, Stahl said, the NWS sometimes asks spotters to go out and report back on the weather.

Stahl said by having spotters out, they can help the NWS determine if a warning needs to be issued or confirm whether something is going on.

“It’s a two-way street,” he said. “We help them out. If it’s not detected by the NWS, we can provide information up to them.”

Stahl said in Seneca County, a few hundred people are currently trained spotters. He recommended spotters take the class every other year to keep skills up-to-date.

Stahl said interested parties should just show up for the March 6 class. For more information, contact him at (419) 447-0266.