National Weather Service encourages students to report storms

Brandon Hallmark

Jeff Johnson from the National Weather Service gave a lecture to prospective storm spotters Tuesday about how to recognize various weather events.

“Why spot severe weather?” Johnson said. “It gives confidence to what we’re seeing on radar, and it helps get it out to the media. In short, spotters save lives.”

The lecture was given as the state enters prime tornado and thunderstorm season as part of storm spotter training.

“May and June account for about 60 to 70 percent of our tornadoes, and we’re just now heading into the season,” Johnson said.

The lecture mostly covered the types of tornadoes and thunderstorms and how to identify them, along with various attributes that may come with them. Additionally, Johnson briefly covered flash floods, which he said cause the most fatalities.

“Flash flooding is the most dangerous severe weather event we have,” Johnson said. “Flash flooding is the number one culprit for killing people.”

Johnson also briefly covered what to report to the National Weather Service as a spotter. 

Those interested in becoming spotters are encouraged to register at [email protected] and to go through training before practicing in the field.

Those who spot severe weather are encouraged to call the Severe Weather Spotter Hotline at 1-800-SKYWARN (759-9276).