Wapello County to hold storm spotter training for weather enthusiasts

The National Weather Service is looking for people interested in becoming registered storm spotters.

A representative from the National Weather Service will be giving training on how to identify different cloud formations and how to distinguish between truly severe weather and what only looks threatening. The training doesn't require any experience and people of any age can attend, although the more technical and scientific information will be best understood by those middle school-age and older.

After completing training, attendees have the option to sign up to be a storm spotter and will be issued a number.

"If you look out your back door and you're having a certain type of weather, whether it's hail, that you know how to properly report that," said Josh Stevens, Wapello County's Emergency Management Coordinator. "They give you a number to call in and then based on those reports, they can help forecast weather ahead of an affected area. So they just want to get as many people as we can informed about weather so they can be more prepared."

The storm spotter training will be held on March 11 at 6 p.m. in the Rural Health Education Building on the Indian Hills campus in Ottumwa. To register for the training, call (641)-682-4209 or email