I love weather and always have. Courtney found out that our local National Weather Service office holds Spotter Training classes, and so I attended one last April. After a couple hours of lecture and slide shows, you can become a certified storm spotter, too.
Especially useful for those in tornado prone areas, you’ll learn about the important characteristics of a storm that has the potential to generate a tornado. This is helpful to identify danger, and just as useful in knowing when not to be concerned. Much anxiety can be eliminated with this knowledge. This information is important to the homesteader not only for personal safety but also for your plants and animals. Knowing conditions are ripe for hail, you can cover sensitive plants and ensure animals have a roof to get under.
Here’s the link to my local NWS spotter training schedule: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/?n=spot_training
With my training, I was able to identify and report a wall cloud with a rotating updraft last spring. I couldn’t quite call it a funnel cloud, but I called the local NWS office anyways. As a spotter, you are provided with a direct line to the meteorologist desk. They issued a tornado warning as a result of my call. The cloud never did worsen or touch down, thankfully.
I highly recommend this free class to anyone with an interest in the weather. Navigate to the National Weather Service webpage for your local area to see if they offer these classes, too.
Are you a spotter, too? Or do you have a great story? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear it.