Here in the Midwest, we don’t always behave like we should when faced with a tornado warning. Instead of heading to our basements with a radio and a helmet, we often run our dumbasses outside to our back yards to figure out if we can see any rotation in person.
But the best way to learn about severe weather is to get storm spotter training. The National Weather Service in Wilmington hosts storm spotter training classes in the Cincinnati area multiple times each month. In the two-hour class, students are taught the basics of storm development, how to identify potentially severe weather features and how to report their findings to the proper authorities.
Since radar can only show so much, local storm spotters often fill in crucial gaps for meteorologists. If a storm spotter can see the very beginnings of a funnel cloud that looks likely to turn into a tornado and get that information to the right people, they could potentially play a key role in saving lives during a severe storm.
Storm spotter classes are entirely free, though you will need to sign up in advance. In-person classes typically are available, but they’re online now because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the National Weather Service website for more information on how to sign up for a class.
A version of this story originally was published by CityBeat sister newspaper The Riverfront Times.
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