Weather Spotter Training Held, for Three SE Nebraska Counties

BEATRICE – Flooding may be the most current weather concern in eastern Nebraska, but it’s also time to be thinking about severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail and lightning.

About 70 people attended a weather spotter training session, Tuesday night, at the Homestead National Monument of America.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Cathy Zapotocny says even with sophisticated forecasting methods, satellite and radar, eyewitness reports are essential.

:20                  “can’t see that”

The spotter seminar was put on by Emergency Management in Gage, Jefferson and Saline Counties, held at the monument’s Education Center.

For the past two years, Nebraska has the unusual experience of seeing 33 tornadoes in each of those years.  The average number per year, has been 54.

The record number came in 2004……when there were 110.  Included among those was the Hallam Tornado…fifteen years ago.

:18                  “in October”

The most frequent time period for tornadoes is mid-afternoon through early evening.

For spotters, Zapotocny says two important things stand out.

:10                  “of severe weather”

Those who report severe weather to the National Weather Service are urged to focus on the elements of who, what, where and when….to give forecasters a good picture of where funnel clouds, tornadoes, heavy rain and large hail have occurred.

During this time of flooding, Zapoctny urged people to heed by the often mentioned advice of, “turn around, don’t drown”.  She says most flood deaths occur when people are driving at night….and may not be able to see where roads or ditches are located, because of flood water.

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