Texomans prepare for storm season with storm spotter training

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Emergency personnel are putting safety at the top of their priority list this storm season.

That is why they taught people in Ardmore what to look for in severe storms and how to accurately report them.

The majority of Texoma falls between major radar centers, where severe weather is closely watched by meteorologists.

That is why storm spotters, people who are trained in what to look for and when to report the sky's activity, are a vital tool for safety.

Anyone can become a storm spotter with the proper training.

14-year-old Levi Sprouse from Madill said Sturday's event at Ardmore Convention Center was his first time coming to the storm spotter training.

"I wanted to learn about weather and become a storm spotter because that was my dream as a kid," Sprouse said. "I used to be scared of tornadoes but now I'm not because of what I learned about them."

Rick Smith with the National Weather Service in Norman talked about the progression of a thunderstorm and what cloud features to look for.

Smith said storm spotters are a critical element of the severe weather warning program.

"They're able to actually identify things that are happening in their communities, whether its hail or flooding or wind damage, and make those reports to the weather service and to local officials," Smith said.

Smith said people need to be descriptive when making weather reports and to not put oneself in harm's way for data or to record the weather.

As storm season draws closer, Smith said people need to have many options to get severe weather information that could save a life.

"We encourage everybody to have three different ways to get a warning and don't rely just on those sirens."

There will be an online training on Tues. March 12 at 6:30 p.m. and an advanced online training on Tues April 2 at 6:30 p.m.

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