Very Bad Weather Awareness Week in Michigan starts on March 17


NEW BERLIN, Michigan (WNEM) – The 17th of March is the start of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan.

Together with the Saginaw County Emergency Manager and the National Weather Service, the Thomas Township Fire Department in Mid-Michigan is putting on a free Skywarn training class for everyone.

According to Brandon Rossi, Assistant Fire Chief at the Thomas Township Fire Department, “We’ve dealt with severe weather at least a couple of times a year in the past few years.” This could be strong winds, severe thunderstorms, tornado warnings, or even winter weather.

You might be curious about what Skywarn or “Skywarn” even means. We asked Rich Pollman, who is in charge of weather forecasting at the National Weather Service office in Detroit, to tell us more.

Pollman said, “We use the Skywarn spotters in a lot of different ways to help our warning work.” “The Skywarn spotter will help us figure out what’s going on on the ground.” We already have a warning out for Saginaw County, but if we get a report from a watcher there, we’ll be sure to send the warning to Tuscola County as well.

He also says that people of all ages can join the training, especially if they are interested in the weather and want to help report bad weather.

Pollmand said, “In the Skywarn training, we’re going to talk a little bit about what happened last year in Southeast Michigan with our severe weather, as well as some weather safety, how storms form, and what to look for, like the shelf cloud or the wall cloud, which can lead to different kinds of severe weather.” “Then we’ll talk about how to send that information to the National Weather Service so that we can get valid warnings at the right time.”

When we talked about weather safety, Brandon Rossi, the assistant fire chief for Thomas Township, told us what to do if we think we might be in danger.

Rossi said, “The best thing to do is to get ready.” “You should do drills at home, just like schools do fire drills.” Another thing you should do is a drill in your home for bad weather. You could say, “Hey, there’s a tornado warning” during dinner. What should we do? Everyone goes down to the basement. If your house doesn’t have a basement, you should go to the room that is the farthest inside. This could be a bathroom, a closet, or anything else that doesn’t have many windows. You should be in the lowest level possible. Being prepared with a backup generator is a good idea to make sure that your home stays warm, your fridge stays functional, and you have food. But having a lot of non-perishable foods on hand will be even more important, no matter what the weather is like.

Rossia says this week’s goal is to make sure everyone is ready and knows what to do.

Rossi said, “You should know the difference between a warning, a watch, and an advisory so that you can be ready for what’s coming your way.”

The Skywarn training will be held on Thursday, March 21, at 7 p.m.

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