Storm photos help National Weather Service track storms - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Storm photos help National Weather Service track storms

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

 Meteorologists with the National Weather Service (NWS) admit people's storm photos can help them determine when and where they do a storm survey.

NWS Meteorologist Kenny Podrazik of Des Moines said photos are powerful, and when it rains, photos and video start pouring in.

Podrazik said it's a matter of only a few minutes after a weather event begins before the NWS starts receiving photos from people on social media, through text messaging and via email.

"Right now the information flow coming into the office is pretty impressive, especially with the addition of social media," he said.

Podrazik said photos can help them determine how many crews need to be sent to survey storm damage, and the photos can also be used against radar to help them study how to better predict a storm's path.

While the NWS appreciates submitted photos, Podrazik said safety should always be a priority.

"I don't want anybody to feel obligated to take pictures of thunderstorms. You know, safety is a number one priority for us, and you know, we don't want to put anybody in jeopardy."

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