Severe weather spotters trained

Brown County has a few more trained eyes on the sky as Spring storm season approaches.
The National Weather Service office in Wilmington hosted storm spotter training on February 21 at Southern State Community College.
About 75 people attended the training, which included video and photographs of different types of severe weather.
The spotters are trained to watch for severe weather and call the NWS to aid in issuing timely warnings.
Warning Coordination Meteorologist Brandon Peloquin led the training.
“We are always looking to add to the number of spotters we have.  The spotters are the ones out in the field, letting us know what’s happening,” Peloquin said.
“Our radar can’t see what’s happening on the ground, so if we can get spotters out there to let us know what’s happening, that will really help us when we are deciding whether to issue weather warnings.”
Peloquin said that spotters have already saved lives with timely calls.
“There have been instances where a report from a spotter enabled us to get a tornado or flash flood warning out sooner than we otherwise would.  Getting those warnings out as soon as possible can really save lives.”
Mt. Orab Police Department Sgt. George Baker was one of the individuals that attended the training.
“Being a police officer, we are out in the field as weather events unfold.  It’s always a good idea to have an informed view of what’s going on,” Baker said.
“My job is to help keep the citizens of Mt. Orab safe and these skills will help me accomplish that.”
Brown County Emergency Management Director Barb Davis said she was pleased with the turnout at the event.
“I think it was very successful.  There is no replacement for getting the community involved.  They are our eyes and ears on the street,” Davis said.
“What they report is not only valuable to the National Weather Service, but to us locally.  If you recall, we had a tornado in the Sardinia area.  The Russell ville police chief actually saw the funnel cloud in the Red Oak area.  Reporting that allowed warnings to be issued in Adams County as the storm headed that way.”
Peloquin said that storm spotter training is offered in person in southern Ohio on a regular basis, but there is another alternative for those who can’t attend in person.
“There is also an online training option.  I would encourage anyone to contact our office if they are interested in becoming a spotter,” Peloquin said.
More information about storm spotter training is available by calling the National Weather Service at (937) 383-0031.