News Local/State

National Weather Service Looking For Severe Weather Spotters

Image of tornado hitting a structure Southwest of Homer.

Image of tornado hitting a structure Southwest of Homer in September 2016. Jeff Frame

It’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois.  The state saw its first round of severe weather last week when tornadoes killed three people.  

One way to help prevent such tragedies is by better severe weather reporting. Those reports rest in part on the work of volunteer severe weather spotters for the National Weather Service.

Meteorologist Jeff Frame teaches weather at the University of Illinois Urbana campus.  Frame says severe weather spotters perform a valuable service.

"When they (National Weather Service) issue a severe thunderstorm warning, or a tornado warning, they want to know if that weather actually occurred," Frame said. "So they can put that in the warning and cause people to take action.

The National Weather Service is holding weather spotter classes throughout Illinois in the month of March, including a class in Tilton Tuesday night, and another in Decatur on Wednesday. 

Frame was a recent guest on WILL's daily talk show, "The 21st."