National Weather Service to host storm spotter training class in Lincoln this weekend

When severe weather strikes many people turn to the TV or check online for live storm coverage. But storm spotters are out there getting accurate information.
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 11:33 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - When severe weather strikes many people turn to the TV or check online for live storm coverage, but in order to get the most up to date information on a storm, volunteer storm spotters are out in the field monitoring conditions.

One of those storm spotters is Gregory Brown, he’s one out of 150 trained weather spotters, who volunteer to track storms and provide accurate, real-time information to help protect those at home. He’s been spotting storms in the Lancaster County area for the last 25 years. He’s helped track derechos, major thunderstorms and even the 2004 tornado that tore through Hallam, NE.

“It’s fun and sometimes scary but very satisfying,” Brown said. “Plus I love weather I love the power and the strength of weather.”

There are 60 designated points across the county where the weather spotters, not chasers, stay in that location. Spotters can confirm current conditions on the ground and get the information back to both the National Weather Service and Emergency Management.

To become one, they require training from the experts. “We cover a lot of those safety aspects of storm spotting, what are the hazards you’re going to deal with besides watching tornados,” Brian Smith with the National Weather Service in Omaha said. “For example, you’re going to encounter things like lighting, large hail and even flooding out there.”

This weekend, the National Weather Service is hosting a storm spotter training class in Lincoln. It’s part of a series of classes taking place all over the state, through the months of March and April. There, participants will learn a basic understanding of thunderstorm structure, spotting techniques, reporting criteria, safety information and procedures and at the end of the day, a test will be taken and puts people one step closer to becoming storm spotters.

The course starts at 1:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Amateur Radio Club Meeting Room. People can register by clicking here.