Bexley News

With spring approaching, weather-spotter training planned

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Everybody talks about the weather, and some people can do something about it.

They're the ones trained as "weather spotters" to be on the lookout for the first signs of tornadoes and other examples of Mother Nature's sometimes abundant displays of energy.

The next scheduled session for weather spotter training is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 2, in the Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road.

The session, designed to put eyes on the skies and promote greater preparedness for severe spring weather, is being co-sponsored by Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security and Ohio State University Emergency Management, in conjunction with the National Weather Service.

The training is free and open to the public. There is no charge for parking at the Fawcett Center.

The deadline for registering is Saturday, Feb. 23.

Those interested can register online at franklincountyohio.gov/emahs; click on the link titled "Register for March 2 Weather Spotter Training."

The March 2 session is the annual "Tornado and Severe Weather Spotter Seminar" from NWS experts.

"Tornadoes are the No. 1 risk facing central Ohio," Michael R. Pannell, director of the Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security agency, said in a statement.

"This severe-weather spotter seminar provides the specialized training necessary for citizens to spot and report severe weather events and helps keep our community safe," Pannell said.

Along with the Weather Service instructors, the session will also feature presentations from members of the Ohio State University Meteorological Club and the Central Ohio Service Weather Network, along with Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security personnel, according to spokeswoman Kelly McGuire.

The training will help attendees learn how to spot, report and prepare for tornadoes and other severe spring weather conditions in Franklin County, McGuire said.

"Trainees will gain better understanding of storm structure and how to distinguish tornadoes from lookalikes," McGuire said in a statement.

"NWS depends in part on information from citizens trained to spot and report tornadoes and other severe weather events to help keep the community informed and safe with accurate reports and predictions of dangerous weather," McGuire said.

No one area of the central Ohio is in need of more trained weather spotters than another, McGuire said.

"We basically will train anyone who would like to be trained," she said.

"The more people we have trained the better off we are as a county."

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