Greenville – Emergency Management partners across Hunt County will host the SKYWARN storm spotter training class Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Fletcher Warren Civic Center in Greenville. The event is designed to provide local weather spotters with the tools needed to accurately identify and describe severe local storms and report in a timely manner to the National Weather Service.
Mark Fox is the warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Fort Worth.
"Basically our Skywarn spotters are the cavalry. They are the eyes and the ears for the Weather Service when we've got some severe storms or potentially severe storms on the radar," said Fox. "We can talk to them in real time and figure out exactly what they're seeing. We can issue those warnings better and give [residents] a lot more lead time in the process."
The volunteer program consists of approximately 290,000 trained severe weather spotters nationwide. In an average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States.
Next month, officials will conduct SKYWARN workshops in Van Zandt, Rains, Rockwall and Delta counties. The schedule is as follows:
Monday, March 1: Van Zandt County - Sheriff's Office in Canton (7-9 p.m.)
Wednesday, March 3: Rains County - Rose Community Center in Emory (7-9 p.m.)
Thursday, March 11: Rockwall County - Library in Rockwall (7-9 p.m.)
Wednesday, March 17: Delta County - Pecan Gap Civic Center (7-9 p.m.)
Each SKYWARN seminar is free and open to the public. More information is available is at www.weather.gov/skywarn.