Miami University to host National Weather Service Skywarn Spotter course

StormReady logoBy Kristal Humphrey, university news and communications

Miami University has submitted a StormReady certification application to the National Weather Service.

As part of the certification process, the university is hosting a National Weather Service Skywarn® Spotter training course from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, in Room 238 of the Athletic Performance Center. The center is located next to the football stadium at 750 Weeb Ewbank Way.

The Skywarn® spotter program is a nationwide network of volunteers trained by the National Weather Service to report significant weather. The course, which is free and open to the public, will be led by a National Weather Service meteorologist who will discuss techniques and safety for severe weather spotting.

Once you attend a class, you are an officially trained spotter and can report severe weather to your National Weather Service office. You do not need to be a resident of Butler County to attend this session.

StormReady is a national program that encourages communities to take a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations by providing clear-cut guidelines for emergency managers. It encompasses severe weather concerns from tornadoes to tsunamis and focuses on town, cities, counties, Tribal Nations, universities and industrial complexes.

To become StormReady, a community must:

  • Establish a communications/dispatch center that serves as the 24-hour warning point and an emergency operations center. (Miami’s 24-hour warning point is the Miami University Police dispatch office. The emergency operations center is mobile and is also through Miami University Police.)
  • Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and alert the public.
  • Ensure the warning point and the emergency operations center are able to monitor local weather and flood observation data for increased situation awareness.
  • Ensure hazardous weather and flooding are addressed in formal emergency management plans.
  • Conduct community preparedness programs, including training a network of Skywarn® weather spotters.
  • Establish an effective working relationship between the emergency management agency/organization and the local National Weather Service forecast office.

Miami will also host representatives from the National Weather Service and its Ohio Advisory Board for an on-site visit Feb. 25.

For more information about the course, contact the National Weather Service’s Wilmington office at 937-383-0031.