Storm spotting class scheduled in Cleveland - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Storm spotting class scheduled in Cleveland

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -- Residents of Bradley County and the surrounding area wishing to increase their knowledge of severe weather systems and tornadoes should make plans to attend a free seminar that will be conducted by personnel from the National Weather Service office in Morristown.

Sponsored by the Cleveland - Bradley County Emergency Management Agency, the training session will be held at the Math / Science building of Lee University on Thursday, March 15, beginning at 6:00 p.m. The site is located on the corner of Ocoee Street and Billy Graham Parkway.  Parking is available nearby.

Personnel from the N-W-S, using both power point and video, have an approximately two-hour presentation on the basics of weather spotting.  Those completing the class receive a two-year certification in the national SkyWarn program.  SkyWarn is the N-W-S's network of volunteer storm spotters who have received training to report significant weather events to their local office.

Spotters are used as extra eyes and ears for N-W-S forecasters and emergency management officials reporting conditions beyond the ability of Doppler radar in some terrain to detect what's happening on the ground below a storm cell.     

This information is then used in conjunction with other technologies to determine the severity of storms and whether people in its path should be warned.

Some topics covered in the class include flash flooding, lightning, hail, tornadoes, staying safe while spotting, and supercell thunderstorms.

Amateur radio, often referred to as HAM radio, plays a significant role in SkyWarn.  Most weather offices are equipped with VHF radios for direct contact with HAM radio personnel in the field.  HAMS from throughout the area are able to submit reports to Morristown using a HAM radio repeater that is located on Chilhowee Mountain in Polk County.

Citizens wishing to receive weather bulletins at home or on mobile devices can sign up for Nixle by visiting on the internet.

Also information on SkyWarn can be obtained by visiting the N-W-S website at

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