5 THINGS TO KNOW: How to attend in-person storm spotter trainings through NWS Tulsa

Feb. 24—The National Weather Service Office in Tulsa details how to attend in-person spotter training classes offered this year for residents across eastern Oklahoma.

1 Why are the classes important?

Throughout eastern Oklahoma and northwestern Arkansas, trained and dedicated individuals monitor the skies around their communities during severe weather events. These storm spotters provide first-hand severe weather reports to their local officials, and to the National Weather Service in Tulsa, which are used to make critical warning decisions.

2 Who usually take the classes?

Being a storm spotter not only means dedication but also training. Each winter and spring the Tulsa office of the NWS trains members of police and fire departments, emergency management officials, amateur radio operators, and members of the public on spotting techniques.

3 Who teaches the classes and what is covered?

Typically, the training is coordinated by a local group and a NWS meteorologist serves as the guest instructor. The goal of the training is not just to recognize tornadoes, but to have some understanding of storm structure, which in turn better prepares the spotter for the extreme and unusual circumstances. Other topics covered include an update on the latest NWS technology and procedures, ideas for organizing/coordinating spotter groups, severe weather reporting, and important safety considerations.

4 When are some nearby class dates?

The NWS will host a training at Wilburton High School in the commons room on March 14, 2024 at 6 p.m. A Pittsburg County training was not scheduled as of Saturday. Check www.weather.gov/tsa/spotter_training for updates and schedules for the area.

5 Do I need to preregister for a class?

Preregistration is not required for in-person classes.

—Derrick James