NWS hosts workshop
Published 4:42 pm Thursday, April 21, 2016
It’s no secret that over the past few months the county has been subject to many unfortunate and traumatic weather occurrences. With this in mind, the Crenshaw County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) saw fit to contact the National Weather Service (NWS) to host a SkyWarn Storm Spotter training program.
“Meteorologist Jack Cullen from the NWS will be conducting this program, which will teach individuals how to recognize and understand different types of storms,” said Crenshaw County EMA director Elliott Jones.
“This will be very beneficial for our county, as we all know how unpredictable the weather has been this year.”
Tuesday night, the NWS arrived at Luverne High School (LHS), and gave the audience informational tips and tricks to learn how to properly and safely spot potential weather dangers in their county.
Meteorologist Jack Cullen has worked with the NWS since 2004 and enjoys educating interested citizens on different ways they can impact their county as storm spotters.
The NWS serves counties all around South West Alabama, the western panhandle of Florida and Southeast Mississippi.
“We do these in each county numerous times. I touch on the radar and how it’s an important tool, but we need people,” Cullen said.
“The radar, unfortunately, doesn’t tell you what’s going on on the surface, because the Earth curves. So, we need people to tell us what they see and what actually is occurring. That’s important for our warning decisions and our verification of warnings, especially.”
Overall, the meeting brought in approximately 25 interested participants, and each was given the chance to sign up to become a certified storm spotter. Cullen knows the importance of bringing in community members for involvement in inclement weather, and was glad to see the support this meeting received.
“You’re going to get 99.9 percent of the information in this class. We encourage fixed storm spotting, and encourage you to call after if it’s safe to do so,” Cullen said.
“Anybody we can affect and try to educate a little more, the better.”
Jones hopes to bring the NWS back to Crenshaw County later on to host an advanced storm spotter class. With the growing number of weather occurrences countywide, Jones is confident that those in attendance will take up the call and will be ready and willing to lend a hand when storms come.
“This was a basic storm spotter class, and I would love to see enough interest that would make the National Weather Service come back and teach an advanced class,” Jones said.
“My ultimate goal is to form a countywide severe weather team. I want to bring more growth to the county. Tonight they got a basic overview with the slides.”