Midland County News

NWS to conduct Severe Storm Safety Class March 3rd

  • February 15 2016

(Midland, MI—February 12, 2016) Mid-Michigan residents have been lucky this winter, not having to cope with record amounts of snow like their counterparts on the east coast. We’ve had our share of cold temperatures and icy, treacherous roads, but spring is just around the corner.

Unfortunately, the warm breezes and rising temperatures bring their own dangers, and Mid-Michigan isn’t immune to severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. To help those in and around the Midland County area learn to cope with the wild weather and learn the conditions that can lead to it, the National Weather Service will be conducting Storm Spotter Training March 3rd, at 7:00pm at the Midland Law Enforcement Center, 2727 Rodd St.  There will be no charge for the class which will run approximately two hours, and is jointly sponsored by the Midland County Office of Emergency Management and the Midland Amateur Radio Club. Though these classes are meant to train Skywarn® volunteers for Midland County and the surrounding area, the class is open to anyone and those who do attend are not committed to become Skywarn® volunteers. Those not wishing to volunteer may still wish to take the class to learn how to protect themselves and their families.  Pre-registration is not required.

Some may wonder why Skywarn® volunteers are needed in this day and age. After all, don’t weather radar and orbiting satellites provide all the information the National Weather Service needs?

Weather satellites mostly show the big picture; weather trends moving from coast to coast. Radar can show conditions as they occur, but many locales, such as the Tri-City area, are below the horizon when it comes to radar—the curvature of the earth prevents the radar from getting a picture of what’s happening on the ground.  That’s where Skywarn® comes in.  Volunteer storm spotters relay observations of conditions in their neighborhood to the local Forecast Office in Pontiac, filling in the holes, giving the meteorologists the key bit of information which may allow for the timely issuing of watches or warnings, information that can safeguard lives and property here at home.

For more information, contact John Wolters at 832-9122.