The SkyWarn class will be held Thursday, March 24, at 7 p.m. in the Beech Lecture Hall on the Lee University campus. There is no charge.
The instructor will be Tim Troutman, warning coordinator meteorologist for the National Weather Service.
Interest in local weather has grown so much that officials are looking for new venues in weather warnings and their distribution.
Those attending will be given basic education on weather systems with an emphasis on the formation of tornadoes.
The class should last approximately two hours, according to Troutman who has instructed several classes during the past few years to teach new spotters.
At the conclusion, information will be provided on how to report severe conditions to the NWS office in Morristown.
Residents attending SkyWarn programs become part of a national network of volunteers who are extra eyes for NWS meteorologists to identify and report significant activity.
New technology gives forecasters the ability to look inside clouds for rotation, a sign that life-threatening conditions exist. Despite advances in recent years, forecasters rely on trained spotters for a clear picture of ground-level conditions.
Attendance is recommended for members of the Auxiliary Communications Service.
Using their radio equipment, amateur radio operators, or “hams” as they are more commonly known, conduct over-the-air “nets” to collect information on conditions as it occurs. Reports of severe conditions are relayed to an amateur radio operator manning the radio desk at the Morristown office.
Most NWS offices are equipped with amateur radio gear and monitor conditions in reporting counties.
ACS volunteers work in conjunction with the Bradley County Emergency Management Agency.
Anyone interested in learning more about weather systems or amateur radio is encouraged to attend.
The instruction is usually held at the Bradley County Emergency Management Agency Emergency Operations Center located on Guthrie Drive, but with the popularity of weather news, officials had to find room for those interested in attending.
For additional information, contact the Bradley County EMA at 728-7289, or visit the agency’s Facebook page.