HOUSTON – The National Weather Service in Memphis, in partnership with the Chickasaw County Emergency Management Agency, will be hosting the Skywarn storm spotter training webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 6.

The free program will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and it is part of the area-wide weather preparedness campaign that the weather service puts together.

While the class is normally held in person, due to COVID-19 concerns, all of the classes for this year will be online via a webinar.

There will be many topics covered in the course.

“The program will discuss thunderstorm formation, severe weather production and features associated with severe storms,” reads the official release from the Weather Service about the program. “The webinar will also review tornado formation and behavior, non-threatening clues which may be mistaken for significant features and spotter operations. The program will discuss recommended storm reporting procedures and safety when storms threaten. The two-hour presentation will feature numerous pictures of storms and nearly 25 minutes of storm video clips.”

Storm spotters are important according to the National Weather Service.

“We could not do our job as well as we do without storm spotters”, said Gary Woodall, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Memphis NWS Office. “Real-time reports from storm spotters play a huge role in our warnings. 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.”

This webinar is open to anyone who is interested, and it is completely free. Anyone interested will have to register though. Registration can be completed by going to

According to Woodall, there are numerous benefits to taking the course, even if one is not interested in storm spotting actively.

“By attending this program, you will learn a lot about thunderstorms”, Woodall said. “Even if you don’t become an active storm spotter, you will learn about how storms work and the visual clues to look for when storms are in your area. This will better prepare yourself and your family for the threats that storms pose.”

Chickasaw County is one of 14 programs that the NWS will be hosting this fall.

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