DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Around 100 Wiregrass residents can now call themselves official SKYWARN Storm Spotters.
Monday evening, the Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management Agency teamed up with the National Weather Service to teach volunteers how to spot and report dangerous weather conditions.
“When they see something, whether it be a tree down, hail, tornado damage, they can contact us,” said meteorologist Lauren Nash. “That helps us know if we’re issuing good warnings, but also helps us issue more warnings.”
These new storm spotters can now act as the National Weather Service’s eyes on the ground.
“Driving from Dothan to Eufaula everyday for school and work, kind of just gets useful when I can just call and tell them,” said volunteer Christina Hale.
Before volunteers could call themselves storm spotters, they had to learn how to report to the National Weather Service. That’s where the SKYWARN training program came into play.
During training, volunteers learned how to identify weather conditions and how to alert meteorologists.
“They help us to verify what’s going on and push that information out in a unified message,” said meteorologist Justin Pullin.
Volunteers now know how to identify and describe severe weather conditions and how to share their new knowledge with others.
“They’re able to teach anyone at any level so we can spread the wealth of information and then report it up,” said volunteer Darcy Taisacan.
For those interested in learning more about the technical side of severe weather forecasting, the National Weather Service will hold a webinar Thursday, July 27.
To sign up, contact meteorologist Justin Pullin at email@example.com.