NWS Storm Spotter Training in Mac County, Weather Awareness | KSNF/KODE

PINEVILLE, Mo. — This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week.

And in McDonald County – a return to normal.

“Storm Spotter Training” took place tonight. And it was the first time this had happened since the start of the pandemic.

“The Doppler radar is a fantastic tool. It allows us to issue warnings for tornadoes, floods and severe thunderstorms, but only storm watchers can confirm the threat. And that’s what drives people to move into shelters,” said Steve Runnels of the National Weather Service in Springfield.

On Monday evening, McDonald County Emergency Management – along with the National Weather Service in Springfield – held its “Storm Spotter Training” at the Pineville Community Center.

“We’ll be looking at different types of severe weather that hit the Ozarks, including super cells that have rotating updrafts that lead to the development of tornadoes as well as squall lines that are known to produce very high winds,” Runnels said. .

McDonald County Emergency Management is working hand-in-hand with storm watchers and the NWS to identify a threat.

“If they see a low cloud, they need to be able to tell if that cloud is spinning or if it’s just a skug cloud, a type of scrap cloud. That way it protects them and they can also let us know and we can sound the exterior warning sirens,” said McDonald County Emergency Management Director Gregg Sweeten.

Sweeten says training first responders and the public can save lives.

“The same night of the Joplin tornado, we had observers who had been trained here on the state line, on the Oklahoma-Missouri state line, and they actually saw the tornado that entered the north side of Southwest City. They recognized it because at night it’s hard to spot tornadoes. They recognized what was going on because of the training they received here,” Sweeten said.

Sweeten says that over the years, more than 500 McDonald County people have taken the training.

For more information about NWS online training, you can follow this link here.

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