Macomb County, NWS offering winter SKYWARN class

By: Julie Snyder | C&G Newspapers | Published October 18, 2018

 Macomb County Emergency Management and the National Weather Service are hosting a free SKYWARN winter storm spotter training course on Oct. 27.

Macomb County Emergency Management and the National Weather Service are hosting a free SKYWARN winter storm spotter training course on Oct. 27.

File photo by Julie Snyder

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Learn to spot an approaching winter storm during Macomb County Emergency Management and the National Weather Service’s upcoming SKYWARN training course in Clinton Township.

The free one-day training will be held Oct. 27.

SKYWARN storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the nation’s first line of defense against severe weather. The National Weather Service encourages anyone with an interest in public service or access to communication methods such as HAM radio to join the program.

“With the winter season upon us, it is important that our county prepare in a variety of different ways,” said Vicki Wolber, director of emergency management and communications for Macomb County. “The SKYWARN program is a great resource for us and allows local citizens to get involved with keeping our communities safe.”

The 1 1/2-hour session will feature a review of the last winter season, a look at winter weather climatology and winter weather meteorology, a study of the National Weather Service’s winter forecast products, as well as a review of guidelines and reporting procedures for winter weather spotters.

This will be the only winter SKYWARN spotter training offered in Macomb County in 2018.

Peter Locke, with Macomb County Emergency Management, said anyone is welcome to attend the course, whether you’re a novice sky watcher or already an experienced storm spotter.

“It’s very interesting,” said Locke. “(The NWS instructor) defines and explains the different types of clouds, how clouds form and how storms form. So when you go out in the summer (after a spring or summer course) you can tell just by watching what the clouds are doing if and when it’s going to rain.

“However, this course will be snow- and ice-based. Everything winter weather.”

Locke said this winter course is limited to 300 people.

The training course will be held at 10 a.m. Oct. 27 at the Michigan/Superior Room of the Macomb Intermediate School District building, 44001 Garfield Road in Clinton Township. Registration is encouraged but not required.

For more information or to register, call Macomb County Emergency Management at (586) 469-5270 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, or email registration requests to MCOEM@macombgov.org.