Severe Weather Awareness Week

It’s that time of year again, where we do some reminding of the dangers that the weather can bring to South Texas.

South Texas sees different types of weather: severe thunderstorms, winter precipitation, hurricanes, tornadoes, you name it. Yes, I know its been a precipitation disaster. We are on month number 18 of this drought and I’m not happy about it. I wish I could change it but we must be prepared for whatever comes our way, like February 10th’s event that came out of nowhere. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings were posted (I almost forgot what those were) for hail being as big as golf balls. One way to stay ahead is through training…

Over this past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a Skywarn training program at The University of Texas Research Campus in Austin. The Skywarn program is sponsored by the National Weather Service (NWS) and its an open invitation for people to learn about weather and storm spotting. Many of those in attendance were weather enthusiasts, students, educators, HAM radio operators, emergency management officials, local media and many others. I was very surprised to see at least one representative from each one of the different TV stations in Austin. It’s rare to see that. I was proud to represent KSAT-12.

KSAT works closely with the National Weather Service Austin/San Antonio office located in New Braunfels. If there is a weather event and we want to talk to them and get their opinion, they are always willing to help out. They are pretty good about giving us their thoughts on any weather event, whether it be severe, winter, or a tropical event. During breaking weather, we have a direct line of communication with them. We can give them updates as we receive them in our newsroom and they can do the same on their end so we can report that to you, our viewers. February 10th’s weather event we sent the NWS reports of hail that we were getting from viewers. If click the link, you’ll see most of those reports are in San Antonio and we were a part of reporting those to the NWS.

Back to Skywarn… This Saturday, February 28th, the University of the Incarnate Word and NWS will be hosting Skywarn training session from 8am- 4:15pm. If you are interested in being a storm spotter then this is the place to be. The training sessions are free and open to the public. It’s broken down into two sessions a Basic and Advanced workshop. Ohh…”Advanced”, does that mean it’s going to be real difficult with meteorological terms that you must know like isentropic lift, divergence, or isotherms? Don’t worry it’s not that intensive, its all broken down and simplified.  To find out more information head over to NWS Skywarn Training Page.  If you can’t make this one there are others planned in different counties, just click the link and find out more. If there is a question that you can’t find an answer to on the webpage please email me at balonzo@ksat.com and I’ll get an answer to you.

This week Steve Browne will be talking about severe weather so tune in this week at 5, 6 and the Nightbeat at 10pm on KSAT-12. Also, monitor this blog as we’ll most more info on the stories we do this week.

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