Bradley County to offer storm spotter training - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Bradley County to offer storm spotter training

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(WRCB) – Bradley County Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service is planning a storm spotter training course for this week.

Storm Spotters act as the eyes on the ground for the NWS when severe weather strikes.

The two-hour training course is scheduled for Thursday March 15 at 6:00 p.m. in the Math & Science Building of Lee University.

Personnel from the NWS, 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 NWS'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 NWS 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 NWS website at 



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