BEND, OR -- The National Weather Service will host three Skywarn Storm Spotter Training events next week, in cooperation with Sheriff’s Offices in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties. Deschutes County Emergency Services Manager Sgt. Nathan Garibay says, "Storm Spotters are the eyes and ears of the Weather Service." He tells KBND News, "Things like thunderstorms, winter storms, wind events oftentimes lead to significant damage." And, storm spotters are key to a "system across the region that can help identify hazardous weather and make the appropriate notifications to the National Weather Service, who then assist Emergency Management in making sure that the word gets out and that we have enough information to take protective action."
Sgt. Garibay says spotters are critical to that local network, "Central Oregon actually falls into one of the largest voids of effective radar coverage in the lower 48. So, oftentimes, weather will come in that’s not readily visible on radar." He adds, "Currently, there are three weather radars that provide coverage to Central Oregon: Medford, Pendleton and Portland. And, because we’re kind of in the middle of all three of those, we don’t get as great of coverage as maybe other areas in the country."
Next week's trainings are:
- Monday at 1 p.m., at the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Madras (675 NW Cherry Ln);
- Monday at 6 p.m., at the Deschutes County Road Department in Bend (61150 SE 27th St);
- Tuesday at 9 a.m., at the Crook County SAR Building in Prineville (1280 S Main St).
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