Citizens can learn to report weather

By Jennifer Woods -

Weather Spotter’s Training is a free event to teach citizens recognition of concerning weather patterns. By completing the training, citizens will become certified weather reporters. Once certified, people can choose to register with the National Weather Service in Wilmington.

The training will be held March 28 at 6 p.m. It will be held at the Center for Economic Opportunity: 101 E. East St., Washington Court House.

When potentially severe weather conditions are spotted, those registered can report their observations to help with forecasts. According to Melissa Havens, the director of Fayette County EMA, the National Weather Service cannot capture everything with the use of a radar.

Havens explained, “The weather service actually relies on people on the ground who are trained weather spotters to report what they are seeing.”

The trainer will be from the National Weather Service. According to the National Weather Service website, “The most important tool for observing thunderstorms is the trained eye of the storm spotter. Doppler radar provides information about the motion of wind and precipitation inside a storm, but will not show the wind at ground level.”

More information can be found online at

According to Havens, this annual training has been done for approximately 20 years. She said, “Severe weather is certainly a very big issue for our area these days; to have these trained personnel out there watching and reporting what they’re seeing is pretty important.”

The National Weather website says, “your spotter report can literally mean the difference between life and death!”

Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @kenanipel

By Jennifer Woods