Becoming a storm spotter - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Becoming a storm spotter

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February 20, 2006

Clinch County - South Georgia has seen more than its share of dangerous storms, from deadly tornadoes to high winds and heavy rain felt from the Florida hurricanes. The storms sometimes come with very little warning, but one local group wants to make sure we’re prepared. "The best ally is, of course, the human eye that’s trained, out there watching," said Larry Morrell, Storm Spotter.

The Sky Warn Storm Spotters group in Clinch County is offering free storm spotting classes. We can all tell that a storm’s coming through gusty wind and gray clouds, but this training teaches the average person to recognize a lot more. "What we’re going to be teaching people is storm structure, ingredients for thunderstorm development, basic severe weather safety," said Morrell.

The classes will be led by a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Tallahassee., who’ll teach everything from gauging wind speeds to recognizing different cloud formations. "Rotating wall clouds, cloud centrations, overshooting tops," said Morrell.

The human eye can pick up that critical information faster than any radar and is the best line of defense against a storm. "Storm spotters give ground truth information from the thunderstorm as it happens," said Morrell.

The classes aren’t open to people in Clinch County.  "Anybody from South Central, Southeast Georgia area is urged to come," said Morrell.

Because storms know no boundaries, and spotters in one county can help look out for the next. "Its to protect lives and property, not just protect one certain county, we’ll all supposed to work together as a team," said Morrell.

A team that’s working together to protect this entire region from severe weather.

To register for the storm spotting classes, call Larry Morrell at 912-487-6731.

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