Wednesday, March 01, 2017 - Updated: 9:09 AM
Trigg County Emergency Management officials are partnering with the National Weather Service (NWS) to keep more residents in the loop on severe weather situations.
The NWS will host a Skywarn spotter training session with instructor Christine Wielgos at 6 p.m. March 7 in the Trigg County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) building at 39 Jefferson St. in Cadiz. The session will provide information on how to properly identify severe weather situations such as severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, funnel clouds, wall clouds and flash flooding. The course is anticipated to last about 21/2 hours.
All course material is free, and the public is invited to attend.
The training could be of valuable assistance to emergency personnel, according to Trigg County Emergency Management Deputy Director Paula Flood.
"The class teaches what to really watch for," Flood said. "The more eyes we have in more areas of the county the better off we are."
Emergency Management has just a handful of residents trained in storm spotting; another group -- the Southwestern Kentucky Storm Spotters, based in Cerulean -- also keeps tabs on Trigg County severe weather patterns. However, Flood said more volunteers were always needed. Though, those looking for an adrenaline rush may be disappointed.
"We do not storm chase," Flood said. "Nothing is worth getting hurt over. When you see these specials on TV where they storm chase in Oklahoma and place like that, it's not the same. That's all flat (land). There's way too many hills and curves and things where you just can't see here."
The training coincides with the state's Severe Weather Awareness Week, which Gov. Matt Bevin declared as the first full week of March in Kentucky. A statewide tornado drill will be held at 9:07 a.m. Friday. The NWS, in partnership with Kentucky Emergency Management, the Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee and Kentucky Broadcasters Association will issue a tornado warning test message during that time.
Sirens will sound in communities throughout the state, weather alert radios will activate and television and radio stations and mobile devices will broadcast the alert, giving the public the opportunity to practice tornado safety measures.
During the test alert, residents, businesses, hospitals, nursing homes, educators and government agencies are encouraged to practice their tornado safety drill, NWS meteorologist Evan Webb said in a statement to media.
"At that time we certainly encourage everyone -- individuals, families, businesses, schools, organizations of any kind really -- to play along with our mock tornado drill that day," Webb said. "The most important thing is to always have a plan. Where are you going to go, what needs to happen if there is a tornado warning issued for your area."
The drill, initially scheduled to take place yesterday, was postponed due to threat of severe weather to avoid confusion in the event of a legitimate weather emergency.
Residents who hope to participate in Trigg County's Skywarn training session must register prior to the class. Participants may register at http://bit.ly/2iMXVJ5 or for more information, call Trigg County Emergency Management Director David Bryant at 270-350-0818.