WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Storm Spotters Are Needed

Mar 26, 2012

Storm spotters provide a crucial link in tracking severe storms. A team of meteorologists from the National Weather Service will provide free training in Macomb.

County Board member Tony Coniglio chairs the Emergency Service Disaster Agency committee for the board. Although radar and computers track severe storms to a degree, he said there is still a need to have human eyes follow storms.  He coordinates the spotters during severe weather.

He said,”They go out in that area and they watch. And if there is something they call it right in and I get ahold of the National Weather Service and let them know what is going on.”

The local effort is based on 16 ham radio operators. Coniglio said more spotters are needed.

The session is not limited to those who want to be spotters. He said the meteorologists will provide a lot of safety tips during the two-hour session.

He said, “They'll show what to look for. If you've got a wife and three kids they'll tell you when to hit the basement, to take cover. But they tell the kids what to look for also. And it helps them. It erases some fear in kids.”

The training begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday (March 27th) at the Macomb American Legion. Coniglio said about 150 people attended last year's event.