2017-08-30 / News

Local weather spotters trained to report to NOAA

by Trish Rudder

Morgan County has not had a weather disaster this year like what Hurricane Harvey brought to Houston, but any storm can cause serious damage and possible injury to those in its path. Local volunteer weather spotters gather and report any storm damage in Morgan County to the National Weather Service at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrative) in Sterling, Va.

Christopher Strong, a Warning Coordination Meteorologist there, said on Friday that Morgan County has 39 registered weather spotters throughout the county who report any damage to the NOAA office. He said the spotters are certified and are registered with the service.

If we have a storm event such as we had on August 12 from a storm with a lot of wind damage, a summary report of the damage will be available the next day, Strong said. The report contains what caused the damage, such as “tree down on power lines,” “wind damage” or “hail,” where it occurred and how the information was received, such as from the 911 call center or from a trained spotter.

The report can be found at the “weather.gov/lwx.” website. Hover over “Current Conditions” and then click on “Local Storm Report” in the drop-down menu.

In order to find a full summary of the event, you might have to click on a higher version, since the reports are updated as information comes in, Strong said.

Dick Myers, Director of Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (OHSEM) for Morgan County said the next basic storm spotter course will be held in March 2018. He said the class date and time will be given to the public well in advance. Myers said he encourages people who are already certified to retake the class to refresh their skills.

The office also coordinates with Berkeley and Jefferson counties that will offer the advanced classes, so that people have access in the tricounty area to any class required for certification.

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