Greater Knowledge of Severe Weather the Goal of Upcoming Weather Spotter Training

Residents have a unique opportunity to increase their knowledge of severe weather common in Weld County and northern Colorado during spring and summer by attending Weld County’s free in-person weather spotter training class on Tuesday, March 22, from 6:30 to 9 pm. The class will be in the Weld County Administration Building, located at 1150 O Street in Greeley. Registration is required and can be completed online or by contacting Gracie with the Weld County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) at (970) 304-6540 or via email at gmarquez@weldgov.com.

To anyone familiar with Weld County, it’s no secret the challenges severe weather can pose to residents in the coming months as hail, thunder and lightning storms, tornadoes, and flooding are common in the spring and summer. Throughout the two-and-a-half-hour class led by a meteorologist from the National Weather Service (NWS), participants will learn about the different elements that create storms as well as tips on how to identify the changing conditions around them that cause a storm and increase its severity. Sections of the class will focus on the role different cloud types — shelf, cumulonimbus, etc. — have on a storm as well as how to identify the characteristics of a landspout tornado, supercell tornado and other types of storms.

While it may be convenient to rely on weather reports or push notifications from cellular devices to stay updated on changing weather, Weld County OEM Director Roy Rudisill believes the opportunity to learn about weather from an NWS meteorologist offers a tremendous benefit to participants in helping them be prepared and empowered to deal with severe weather when it occurs.

“The main benefit to a class like this is providing people with information that can be critical in helping them judge the weather and make decisions best for themselves and their families,” he said. “Being able to identify severe weather characteristics, such as a funnel cloud from just a hanging cloud, allows people to be more confident in what action they may need to take and provides them with a visual perspective of what weather conditions may be present and what storms could develop as a result. The ability to be more aware of your surroundings is a good thing.”

An added benefit to the class is that upon completion, participants can choose to become certified weather spotters. Weather spotters regularly assist the NWS in providing information meteorologists use to provide timely warnings to the public during severe weather.

For more information on severe weather preparedness, visit weldoem.com.

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