Oklahoma Storm Spotters Brush Up On Training Ahead Of Tornado Season

Saturday, February 22nd 2014, 6:29 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma's severe weather season is right around the corner.

On Saturday, storm spotters, both new and experienced, came to Tulsa to learn from the best.

"The reason I like it is I want to help the public warn the public," Kelly Baker said.

Kelly Baker is no novice. He began storm spotting more than 20 years ago.

"In June of ‘74 a big tornado hit Tulsa," he said. "I was cowering under the couch, and I told myself then I wanted to be a spotter and help the public out."

This weekend's training drew people from all walks of life, mostly those wanting to know more about how to accurately spot weather and accurately call it in.

Learn more about the storm spotter training program

Among them were our very own WARN Team meteorologists Mike Grogan, Dick Faurot and Alan Crone.

"There is always new info from weather research that comes out and helps us in the field," Baker said.

National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Piltz said the training is critical to ensuring accuracy in the field.

"What we are trying to communicate is not only how to recognize storms, because we want correct reports," Piltz said. "Because if bad reports come in, they could trigger a warning when not necessary. We want them to stay back and stay safe and give best reports they can."

Just last summer in Oklahoma, two heavily trained storm spotters found themselves at the mercy of one of those massive storms.

"As you saw last year we had a very experienced chaser killed and another one severely injured and these people know all they need to spot storms," Tulsa Emergency Management's Roger Joliff said.