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Wanted: Aspiring storm spotters to serve region


GREENVILLE - The local branch of the National Weather Service Office is on pace to exceed last year’s number of storm stoppers trained after a historic severe weather season in 2011.

Mark Fox is a warning coordination meteorologist with the Ft. Worth office. Each spring he tours the region through the SKYWARN storm spotter training class.

“Last year we trained about 4,000 spotters throughout the year,” Fox says. “This year alone we’re already at approaching about 2,500 and we’re barely about halfway.”

The Ft. Worth office covers 46 counties in North and Central Texas.

On Thursday night, the SKYWARN class comes to Greenville. It is free and open to the public. The training seminar takes place from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Fletcher Warren Civic Center. Next Wednesday, February 29, the class will visit the Rose Community Center in Emory from 7-9 p.m. The final stop locally comes on Wednesday, March 14 when officials setup shop at the Delta County Community Center in Cooper from 7-9 p.m.

Saturday marks the end of Severe Weather Awareness Week. Fox says while nice weather remains, now is the time to think about what you and your family will do when severe weather strikes, before it’s too late.

“On average, every county in your listening area is under a tornado warning about three or four times a year. So we’re talking less than two hours a year we’re asking you to do the right thing and go to cover.”

Hear the complete interview with Mark Fox during Friday’s edition of The Lead, beginning at 10 a.m.