Tulsa Storm Spotter Class Attracts Young And Old

Saturday, February 24th 2018, 6:21 pm

As we inch closer to severe weather season, storm trackers and emergency responders across our area are preparing for thunderstorms, strong winds, and tornadoes. 

The National Weather Service is also explaining some new technology that can help track lightning at a storm spotting class held at OU Tulsa. 

We all know Oklahoma weather can change quickly. The National Weather Service wants to make sure anyone who is out in the elements this season is informed and prepared for what's ahead.

Tulsans won't soon forget a tornado ripping through the middle of town last August.

It's a reminder that Oklahoma weather can sometimes be unexpected. 

But spring is around the corner and storm trackers are already out. 

National Weather Service Meteorologist Steve Piltz said now is the perfect time to make sure everyone's on the same page. 

"This is the time of year that Oklahoma kinda gets ready," said Piltz. 

That includes first responders, emergency management, HAM radio operators, and 10-year-old Sutton Fondren. 

"It's just fascinating," said Sutton. 

He said he loves weather, "because it happens every day and it's different.”

He attended the class to learn about storms and wants to know more about hurricanes. 

He said he wants to be a meteorologist when he grows up. 

Those who are already in the field are looking forward to using some new technology. 

Piltz said a satellite going to space next week will help track lightning. 

"The satellites basically will look for the flashes. It looks 500 times a second and it will be able to give us updates on the way the storms are changing, really at a faster rate than the radars do," Piltz said.  

The group is also reviewing information about wind gust and speed, recognizing tornadoes and understanding storm structure.

All things Sutton is paying close attention to. 

"If he called with a weather report, I'd be inclined to believe it," Piltz said. 

"I just want to learn more about it so I can get ready for the future," Sutton said.