The National Weather Service depends on storm spotters in their SKYWARN system to help gather information about weather. Volunteers attend training and become storm spotters, calling in weather conditions to the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service. This information, coupled with the readings on a variety of instruments assists the meteorologist decide when to initiate severe weather warnings as well as helping learn more about local weather patterns.
Storm Spotters have been assisting the National Weather Service in the SKYWARN program for decades and play an important role in reporting local weather information. the Warning Coordination Meteorologist in all of the National Weather Service offices work with thousands of storm spotters across the country.
The next Storm Spotter Training scheduled for Chattanooga will be held Thursday, February 3rd at the Red Cross building at 801 McCallie Ave in Chattanooga. Classes begin at 6:00 pm.
September 29th is Fall Severe Weather Awareness Day in the Tennessee Valley. The National Weather Service has designated this date to remind citizens of the potentially dangerous storm systems that can occur in the region.
In the event of a severe storm or tornado warning you should go immediately to a safe location. According the Tim Troutman from the National Weather Service, the safest place in your home is in the basement or lowest level of the house, preferably in an area with four stout walls and no windows. Take your cell phone and weather radio with you. Be sure to keep your shoes on in case you need to walk through broken glass or debris after the storm. If you have a helmet wear it in case of flying debris.
Know your local geography so that you are prepared to react to storm watches and warnings in surrounding counties. Severe storms often travel from the south west toward the north east. Be sure to remain in your safe location until you are sure the storm has passed.