JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Despite there being snow on the ground, we will spring forward this weekend. With spring comes severe weather season.
That's why the Craighead County Department of Emergency Management sponsored its 20th annual Severe Weather Seminar.
"Hard to believe today with all of the snow on the ground, but severe weather season is not far away," National Weather Service Meteorologist Gary Woodall said.
The National Weather Service in Memphis came to Jonesboro to teach the severe weather class. Those who attended were able to learn what to look for during severe weather events.
"Spotters come from all different walks of life, if you will, amateur radio operators, law enforcement, and fire officials," Woodall said.
Woodall taught the class and said storm spotters are a vital part of keeping communities safe.
"Skywarn and storm spotters are really important for us because while we have radar and satellites and other electronic tools, those only give us part of the picture," Woodall said.
Many gathered at St. Bernards Auditorium to learn more about what kind of clues the sky above can give.
"And how to do all of this safely because of course being out and about when severe storms and tornadoes are in the area is a dangerous thing to do," Woodall said.
David Moore, Director of Craighead County Department of Emergency Management, said they push this event because this area isn't immune to severe weather.
"If you just look at Craighead counties past, we've had major tornadoes right here in Jonesboro in '68 and '73, had another big event here in '84," Moore said.
Moore said it's important for emergency personnel and every day citizens to learn how to protect themselves and their loved ones during a significant weather event.
After the class, the attendees will know how to spot a tornado and when to report it to emergency managers.
"This is a good time to go through and remind ourselves of the dangers and the hazards that tornadoes and severe thunderstorms can bring," Woodall said.
Moore said the more people who participate the better prepared Craighead County is when severe weather hits.