Get free storm spotter training on Sept. 27


The fall severe storm season is approaching, and as part of its area-wide weather preparedness campaign, the National Weather Service in Memphis is hosting a Skywarn storm spotter training program in Hardin County.

The training session will be conducted in Savannah on Thursday, Sept. 27, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Hardin County Courthouse at 465 Main St., in the small courtroom on the second floor. The program is free and open to the public.

The event is held in partnership with Hardin County Emergency Management, and will ask – and help with answers to – the following questions:

• Are you ready for whatever is in store?

• Do you have a severe weather plan at your home and your workplace?

• Can you recognize the clues that suggest large hail, flash flooding, or a tornado is possible?

• Do you want to become part of the severe weather warning system in your county?

The program will also discuss thunderstorm formation, severe weather production, and features associated with severe storms.

In addition, the presentation will review tornado formation and behavior, non-threatening clues which may be mistaken for significant features, and safety tips to keep in mind when thunderstorms threaten.

Spotter operations and recommended reporting procedures will also be discussed. The two-hour presentation will be in multimedia format, featuring numerous pictures of storms and nearly 25 minutes of storm video clips.

The network of trained storm spotters plays an important role in Hardin County.

“Real-time reports from storm spotters play a huge role in our warnings,” said Gary Woodall, Warning Coordination meteorologist at the Memphis NWS Office.

“Radar and satellite are great tools, but they only tell us part of a storm’s story. The combination of spotter reports and electronic data gives us the best possible picture of the storms and what’s going on inside them.”

Woodall added, “If you want to learn about tornadoes and storms, this program is for you. Even if you don’t become an active storm spotter, you will learn about how storms work and the visual clues you can identify when storms are in your area. We will discuss severe weather safety tips. This will help prepare yourself and your family for the threats that storms pose.”

The Hardin County severe weather program is one of 12 that the Memphis NWS Office will conduct between late September and early November. The National Weather Service in Memphis provides forecasts, warnings, and weather services for 57 counties across the mid-South.

For more information on severe weather and the National Weather Service, visit the Memphis Forecast Office’s website at