Spotting severe weather - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Spotting severe weather

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(KWWL) -

Severe weather comes fast and in seconds can level people's lives.

That's why there are thousands of storm spotters dedicated to helping keep people safe.

Monday night, more than a hundred people turned out at the National Weather Service's training in Black Hawk County.

"Tornado, lot of storms; knowledge is power. It is always better know what is coming at you," said Melissa Hind of Waterloo, who took the training for the first time with her husband.

The training included new and veteran spotters.

"I've been a spotter for about 10 years, as long as, I've been a HAM radio operator. A couple years ago, a tornado started up in Butler County, went through Grundy County, went by the golf course in Reinbeck, and down into Tama County. We had amateur radio people monitoring that storm," said Grundy Co. Emergency Coordinator Tom Bicket.

Amateur radio operators are one of the biggest group of spotters the National Weather Service relies on.

"Research has shown that if we are able to provide information that is confirmed instead of just Doppler Radar indicated warning. If we are able to confirm that information and that public is more likely to take action," said Kelsey Angle from the National Weather Service Des Moines.

"It is important to be prepared because severe weather is going to occur. It is not a matter of if, but when," continued Angle.

There are four more training sessions in the KWWL area:

-Dubuque Co. Emergency Responder Training Facility on March 28th at 6:30pm.

-Lowden Fire Department on March 28th at 7:00pm.

-Waverly Civic Center on April 10th at 6:30pm.

-Ossian Fire Station on April 11th at 6:30pm.

For more information on severe weather safety: http://www.weather.gov/safety/

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