BRANDON, MS (WLBT) - Each year, the National Weather Service conducts Storm Spotter Training as severe weather season approaches. The training was held Saturday at the Rankin County Tornado Safe Room in Brandon.
Powerful thunderstorms develop each Spring. Meteorologist study the storms to determine which ones could become severe. Sometimes, more information is needed to understand how the storms are behaving. That’s when storm spotters play an important role.
“When we’re at the office and looking at the radar, we’re seeing in the mid to upper level of the atmosphere. We’re not seeing at the ground. It’s the Storm Spotters getting the boot work together and seeing the tornado at the ground," said Felecia Bowser, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Storm spotters are trained on different clouds, how to report a storm, and how to tell if a storm is a tornado.
Gary Young, who is a trained Storm Spotter said, “If there is debris, it’s a tornado. You can get hit by straight line winds, which is what it sounds like 60-70 miles per hour. I reported one in Vicksburg where it blew an 18-wheeler off the road with straight line winds. So, their radar can only get down so low and weather spotters are used to help with the National Weather Service.”
While it’s difficult to determine what the tornado season will be like this year, the National Weather Service says it’s important everyone be prepared for severe weather.