Class Trains How To Spot Storms

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Future storm spotters met at Williams Baptist College Saturday to learn what it takes to spot trouble on the horizon. This SkyWarn Storm Spotting class comes a few weeks after deadly tornadoes ripped through parts of Region 8 February 5th.

"They are the eyes and ears of the National Weather Service," said Richard Okulski, of the National Weather Service. "They actually see the tornadoes in the areas and are often first on site for the damage. Without them, we wouldn't be able to do as good of a job as we do."

Edward Harthor's interest in storm spotting was peaked after he saw the destruction from the tornadoes that hit north-central Arkansas.

"Tornadoes themselves aren't a good experience but the information learned from them is a good experience," said Harthor.

While Williams Baptist College is in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, it's the aftermath of the storms across the river in Jackson, Tennessee that hits so close to home for members of this small college community.

Extensive damage was done to student dormitories in the middle of the tornadoes path at Union University, a sister college of Williams Baptist.

"Obviously Union had a good plan in place because they took a direct hit and didn't have any loss of life," said Brett Cooper, with Williams Baptist College. "So, we're comparing what they did and how their plan worked, in comparison to our emergency plan."

The next course in storm spotting will be March 1 at the Southwest Church of Christ in Jonesboro. The event starts at 10:00 a.m.

Go to:  http://www.srh.noaa.gov/meg/skywarncalendar.php for more information.

Questions or Comments? E-mail me at rsmith@kait8.com