Learning the basics of storm spotting

Some Kirksville residents learned to be a big help for the upcoming severe weather season.

The National Weather Service Kansas City Office held a storm spotter training class in Kirksville Wednesday evening.

About 70 people learned about the different types of severe weather, including lightning, thunderstorms, and tornadoes.

National Weather Service Meteorologist and Warning Coordinator Andy Bailey said storm spotters are a critical part of reporting severe weather.

"The radar is one of our key warning tools, but it doesn't tell us everything we need to see, especially in this part of Missouri. The spotters really fill in the gaps and are our eyes on those thunderstorms and letting us know exactly what is going on , so it's truly critical in the warning process," Bailey said.

Storm spotters are also the front line when it comes to getting the most up-to-date weather information.

"We need a variety of reports. The more spotter reports we can get from this part of the state, the better our warnings are going to be, the better the information will be shared by TV and be better informed of what threats are coming their way," Bailey said.

KTVO Chief Meteorologist Teresa Carter and Meteorologist Vanessa Alonso were at the storm spotter class as well.

People also from as far as Macon, Brookfield, and Moberly came to the class.