NWS trains weather spotters for future severe outbreaks

By Paige Quiggins | 

Hazard, Ky. (WYMT) - Some thought it could not happen here, but many got a dose of reality on Mar. 2 when those deadly tornadoes ripped apart towns and lives in eastern Kentucky.

Certain folks are trying to be more prepared for the next severe weather outbreak. People in Hazard said they want to be prepared, so when severe weather happens, they can do all they can to stay safe.

“You always got to be prepared,” said Chief Sam Stacy of the Hazard Fire Department.

National Weather Service officials came to Perry County to teach people how to "spot and prepare" for severe weather situations.

“I came to learn just for emergencies,” said Jack Caudill.
“If severe weather comes our way I can help my aunts get out of the trailer up on the hill.”

NWS meteorologists said their equipment can only tell them so much when warning people about unsafe conditions.

“Our radar scans eastern Kentucky but we need to know ground truth information,” said Jackson’s NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Tony Edwards.
“When we train spotters they pass onto us and that's invaluable to our warning process, we can issue warnings in a timely manner to save lives.”

Those who attended said recent weather events influenced their decision to participate in a class like this one.

“The tornado outbreak on March 2nd has always heightened every body's awareness in eastern Kentucky because you always thought it never could happen here,” said Stacy.
“Once you see that it does, it makes you more conscientious about checking the weather forecast and being prepared.”

Nearly 20 people attended the class in hazard.

For more information on how to become a Sky Warn Weather Spotter, just visit http://www.crh.noaa.gov/jkl/?n=spotter