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Weather Spotter class offered in Coal City

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 1:44 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 10:50 p.m. CDT

COAL CITY – Have you ever watched the clouds roll in and wonder if they are capable of producing a tornado or straight line winds, or if they are simply a rain shower that will help with watering your lawn?

The Basic Severe Weather Spotter Program was created by the National Weather Service to improve warning services, according to a news release issued by the Grundy County Emergency Management Agency. The NWS needs real-time reports of hail size, wind damage, flash flooding, heavy rain, tornadoes and waterspouts to effectively warn the public of inclement weather.

The National Weather Service will be presenting a basic severe weather spotter class for the Grundy County Emergency Management Agency that aims to teach residents what to look for when severe weather approaches, according to a news release issued by director Joe Schroeder.

Even as new technology allows the NWS to issue warnings with more lead time, spotters will always be needed as links between radar indications of severe weather and ground truth, according to the National Weather Service in Romeoville.

Storm spotter volunteers serve as severe weather spotters for the NWS and local emergency management programs, and generally have two things in common – an interest in the weather and a desire to serve their community.

Attendees of the Jan. 31 event in Coal City will view a slide show and video presentation that demonstrates what to look for when potentially bad weather strikes.

The presenter will explain everything from a single-cell (pulse) thunderstorm to the potentially deadly supercell thunderstorm and what to look for with each type.

The two-hour class is all that is needed to become a basic severe weather spotter, and training is recommended every two years, so spotters can stay up-to-date on the latest information.

The National Weather Service states the class also is beneficial to members of the public who don’t want to be a spotter but who still want to be informed on what to look for as dark clouds roll in.

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IF YOU GO

WHAT: Basic severe weather spotter class

WHEN: Jan. 31. Class will be from 7 to 9 p.m.

WHERE: Coal City High School auditorium, 655 W. Division St., Coal City

COST: Free

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