Climate right for weather spotting class

By Belinda M. Paschal - [email protected]

PIQUA — Whether you’re an amateur storm chaser, a budding meteorologist, or you just want to know if your morning commute will be a snowy one, there’s a class that will help you learn more about the weather.

Sponsored jointly by the Emergency Management Agencies of Miami and Shelby counties, a National Weather Service weather spotter training class on Thursday, March 17 will teach students about techniques and safety for severe weather spotting.

“They will learn about identification of cloud formations, hail size and what it means, and reporting processes if they want to be an active spotter and report severe weather to the National Weather Service,” among other topics, according to Art Blackmore, information officer for the Local Emergency Planning Committee of the EMA.

The free class, which lasts about two hours, will begin at 6:30 p.m. (registration starts at 6 p.m.), in the Hartzell Lecture Hall at the Upper Valley Career Center, 8811 Career Drive, Piqua. Park behind the building and use the rear entrance.

The training sessions, lead by representatives from the National Weather Service based in Wilmington, is a well-attended event each year, Blackmore noted.

“They are pretty popular. We used to hold this in Troy, and we would usually run around 60-70 people,” he said. “Last year was the first year we did it in Piqua combined with Shelby County, and we had just a little over 100 people.”

The class is suitable for all ages, Blackmore emphasized. In the past, students have ranged from as young as 8 years old to beyond 70. Blackmore said he would like to see groups like Cub Scout and Girl Scout troops attend.

“Weather is an everyday event, an occurrence, and it changes frequently. People look at the weather in making their plans and developing what they need to do for the day.” he said.

You don’t have to be an official weather spotter to attend the class, and there will not be certificates awarded. However, there will be information about how to register to become an official weather spotter, Blackmore explained.

For more information about being a weather spotter or attending the class, contact Blackmore at 937-332-8561 or Cheri Drinkwine at 937-492-5635.

By Belinda M. Paschal

[email protected]

Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341.

Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341.