New storm spotter training session set Monday in Cameron
The National Weather Service will sponsor a Skywarn severe weather program from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Cameron Volunteer Fire Department fire station, according to Mark Fox, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth..
The program is held in partnership with Milam County Emergency Management.
“For the first time since 2006, tornadoes claimed lives in north central Texas last year,” Fox said. Six people lost their lives in Granbury as a tornado produced EF4 damage in the Rancho Brazos Subdivision.
“These were the first tornado fatalities since the Anna-Westminster tornado of May 9, 2006,” he said.
CLUES—“We have plenty of new material for the training session,” Fox said. “We will be showing the 2013 storms in detail, highlighting the subtle, yet important features.”
Fox noted that severe weather is inevitable in Texas and the session will train participants in becoming proactive where bad weather is concerned.
“Can you recognize the clues that suggest large hail, flash flooding, or a tornado?” he asked. “Do you want to become part of the severe weather warning system in Milam County?”
The 2014 program will discuss thunderstorm formation, ingredients, and features associated with severe storms.
Fox said the presentation will review tornado formation and behavior, and give some insight why some storms produce tornadoes and some do not.
“Additionally, we will discuss non-threatening clues which may be mistaken for significant features,” Fox said. “Most importantly, we will discuss what you can do to keep you and others safe when thunderstorms threaten.
He said the program will also discuss spotter operations and recommended reporting procedures. The two-hour presentation will be in multimedia format, featuring numerous new pictures of storms, as well as new video from the 2013 severe storm season.
SPOTTERS—Fundamental purpose of the spotter training, and of the storm spotter network as a whole, remains unchanged.
“Weather Radar is a great tool, but it only tells part of a storm’s story. Spotter observations are fundamental to the protection of life” said Tom Bradshaw, Meteorologist in-Charge of the Fort Worth Office.
“ The combination of spotter reports and radar data gives us the best possible picture of the storms and what’s going on inside them,” he said.
The program is free and open to the public. No advanced registration is necessary.
“By coming to this program, you will learn a lot about thunderstorms” Fox said.
“Even if you don’t become an active storm spotter, you will learn about how storms work and the visual clues you can identify when storms are in your area. This will better prepare yourself and your family for the threats that storms pose.”
The Milam County program is one of over 60 training sessions that the Fort Worth NWS Office will conduct between January and March. The National Weather Service in Fort Worth provides forecasts, warnings, and weather services for 46 counties in north and north-central Texas.