Quitman, Miss With severe weather season upon us, Clarke County Emergency Management Agency is doing what it can to prepare. A special Skywarn storm spotter class is being held Monday night for local emergency managers and the general public. The purpose for this class is to help first responders better identify what kind of weather they are looking, whether they are looking at a tornado or just a low hanging cloud.
Eddie Ivy, of Clarke County EMA, says “one of the big benefits is we get trained spotters and our fire departments and law enforcement agencies that can actually report in credible information that can either help the weather service in Jackson to pick up on a storm or verify a warning, that damage is actually occurring based on the information they are getting from radar."
Clarke county already has a few spotters, and ivy says they've recently helped during the last round of severe weather.
"Just recently during the last round of severe weather we actually had spotters in the field from the volunteer fire departments providing us information about hail that was occurring in their communities, the winds and the kind of damage they were seeing which let us provide that information to weather service in Jackson,” according to Ivy.
Being able to identify weather features and phenomenon is a major help to meteorologist as well as local EMAs, because it helps both know what’s happening on the ground so they can better warn the community. It can even help the spotters take shelter just seconds before the storms hit.
Ivy says "the volunteers that are responding to the calls, the law enforcement officers, EMA crews that are out there are not only verifying that information and providing it to the weather service but to protect themselves.