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EMA offering classes to train weather spotters
web 1028 Microburst
This tree-damaged car was the victim of a microburst that hit a Hinesville community in August. Providing information about isolated storm damage and other weather-related conditions, including local flooding and smoke from forest fires, is how weather spotters can assist the Liberty County Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service. - photo by Mike Hodges, Liberty County EMA Director

The Liberty County Emergency Management Agency needs weather spotters to assist them and the National Weather Service. In response to this need, EMA Deputy Director Larry Logan said his agency is offering special classes to train members of the community to spot and report weather conditions as they happen in their area.

“When most folks think about weather spotters, they’re probably thinking about the storm chasers they see on TV,” Logan said. “This is not that kind of class.”

The deputy director said the classes are Nov. 5 at the EMA building at 100 Liberty St. in Hinesville. He said these classes, which will be taught by Ron Morales of the National Weather Center in Charleston, S.C., will be broken down into two sessions.

Logan explained that a basic class will be offered from 9-11 a.m., then an advanced class will be offered from 1-3 p.m. He said the classes will train potential weather spotters how to spot certain weather conditions, how to measure rain depth and hail size and how to accurately report weather conditions they’ve physically spotted in their area, which includes providing pictures of weather damage.

“We’re not encouraging folks to get out there during a storm or anything like that,” Logan emphasized. “We want you to be safe, but we need your eyes on the ground to tell us what’s happening in your own backyard.”

Interested members of the community are encouraged to call EMA administrative assistant Sheri Reddicks at 368-2201 to sign up for either the basic or advance class, or both.

Logan said those who complete the classes will be issued weather spotter numbers that will identify them and their locations. The information and photos they provide will be used to provide accurate weather data to the National Weather Service, he said.

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