Weather spotter class scheduled for Tuesday

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 11, 2008

When the National Weather Service issues any kind of severeweather advisory, many people keep their televisions and radios onto monitor the progress of the storm.

What never occurs to most people is who is monitoring thestorm’s progress on the ground.

Weather spotters are people who are trained to know what to lookfor in times of severe weather and to keep Civil Defense and otheroffices apprised of what is going on in different areas around thecounty. Tuesday night brings Lincoln County residents the chance tobecome weather spotters by taking a class at the BrookhavenRecreation Department at 6:30 p.m.

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“Hopefully at the end of this class, you’ll know exactly whatthe National Weather Service is talking about when they issue awatch or warning, and what their criteria is to determine thatwatch or warning,” said Brookhaven-Lincoln County Civil DefenseDirector Clifford Galey.

Galey said the class qualifies people to be on the county’s listof weather spotters. And in the event of a weather emergency, theCivil Defense office will monitor the storm’s progress in partthrough the people on that list.

“It gives the National Weather Service and emergency managementthe ability to call you to see what the weather is like at yourhouse,” Galey said.

While most weather spotters currently are volunteerfirefighters, in part because they can communicate by departmentradio, Galey said anyone with a telephone can take the class.

“We do use the general public as well because we can call andfind out what’s coming to other parts of the county based on whatyou’re looking at from your house,” he said. “We just need peoplewe can touch base with who we’re sure know what they’re talkingabout in times of emergencies.”

Galey said over the years there have been about 100 people inthe county who have taken the weather-spotting classes. And whilethey’re always recruiting for new ones, they also welcome those whomight just want a refresher.

“Just because you had it a few years ago doesn’t mean youshouldn’t come back and take it again,” he said. “Things change andthere are different criteria as time passes. It’s good to stayupdated.”

The class begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and there is no charge toparticipate. Galey said anyone who needs information is welcome tocall the Civil Defense office at (601) 833-8561.