SkyWarn class offered to All interested residents

On Wednesday, March 25th residents of Bath County and the surrounding area can become registered storm spotters with the National Weather Service’s SKYWARN program. There are nearly 290,000 of these citizen volunteers across the country. They help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports to the National Weather Service.
Phil Hysell is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist for this region’s weather service office. He is one of the two trainers for the evening’s class and he said,
“Unless your career is in a field that saves lives, this may be one of the best chances you have to save lives, and keep your community safe. People really listen to the ‘ground-truth’ reports of exactly what is happening in their area, and the weather service really needs the ‘eyes-in-the-field’ to keep the data immediate and accurate.”
In an average year 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the U.S. threatening lives and property. Knowing how to read the sky, and report observations helps reduce danger.
Subjects in the class will include: Basics of thunderstorm development, fundamentals of storm structure, identifying potential severe weather features, information to report, how to report information, and basic severe weather safety.
Any one of any age interested in weather is encouraged to attend. The registration as a weather spotter is completely optional. Children under 16 can’t become weather spotters yet, but it’s never too early to start learning these helpful skills.
The Skywarn Class at Fairview Community Center, or 24403 Mountain Valley Road, will meet March 25th at 7:00, and is free of charge. For more information, one can call Any Seabolt, Bath County’s Emergency Services coordinator at 839-7297, or learn more about SKYWARN at .

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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