Storm spotters learn about severe weather

Updated: Mar. 11, 2023 at 8:27 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Weather enthusiasts learned about storm spotting on Saturday.

A storm spotting class was held at St. Bernard’s Auditorium in Jonesboro. According to a tweet by the National Weather Service out of Memphis, a little over 175 spotters became certified at the class on Saturday.

Anthony Coy, director of emergency management in Craighead County, said while many come to become certified spotters, there are several reasons to attend the class.

“Some people come to the class to ease their storm anxiety, some people come just for the general knowledge, and some people come because they’re just enthralled by with severe weather,” he said.

The class was split into two different segments; one covered weather education, like knowing differences between watches and warnings, but also how clouds can fool the untrained eye.

“Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, when we’re in severe weather people are looking at the clouds, everything tends to look like a funnel cloud and many times, it’s not,” he said.

The second part of the class, dealt with storm spotting. Spotters are integral to the National Weather Service, because when severe weather arrives accuracy is important. Spotters can help right from their own backyard.

“They want to know what you see where you are, or what you don’t see where you are,” he said. “Sometimes, reports received by untrained people, and it causes the National Weather Service office to have false information, which causes false reactions.”

Coy was happy by the turnout in the class.

“It’s very exciting that the crowd here decided to give us those two hours for today and to come get the information and help themselves,” he said.

More session are scheduled in Missouri and Arkansas. Click here to see the schedule.