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How to become an official 'Storm Spotter' for the Coastal Bend

The National Weather Service needs local storm spotters
Posted at 5:43 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 19:35:23-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — If you enjoy taking pictures or video of the unpredictable weather in the Coastal Bend now you can officially become a storm spotter.

Skywarn storm spotters learn about thunderstorms and then report any potential hazards to the National Weather Service.

The NWS is looking for volunteers across our area to become trained storm spotters.

Spotters report falling hail, damaging winds, a tornado, even flooding they might see.

And, reports don't have to be super intricate. They can be done over the phone, with pictures, videos, and even through social media.

“Meteorologist have a ton of tools at their disposal; radar, satellite data but none of this information tells us what’s going on at the ground,” said Melissa Huffman, the NWS' morning coordination meteorologist. “That's where Skywarn storm spotters come in, they give us that whole complete picture of what's going on with the thunderstorm.”

Huffman says the reports they receive by official volunteers ultimately help protect lives and property.

“If a thunderstorm is producing golf ball-sized hail we can go ahead and update our warning,” said Huffman. “We can talk to the media and let everybody know ‘hey this is what the storms producing,' to give those folks who are downstream or still in the path extra time to prepare.”

The National Weather Service is inviting you to their free Skywarn Storm Spotter training Thursday evening.

The training only comes around once a year, so Huffman says if you want to help make a difference in South Texas, this is one way you can.

The training will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at 2406 Leopard St, Corpus Christi, TX 78408. on the third floor.

To register for the training visit: https://www.weather.gov/crp/skywarn

The NWS - Corpus Christi covers the following counties in our area:

  • Webb
  • La Salle
  • Duval
  • McMullen
  • Live Oak
  • Jim Wells
  • Bee
  • Goliad
  • Victoria
  • Calhoun
  • Refugio
  • Aransas
  • San Patricio
  • Nueces
  • Kleberg