And now I’m officially trained to spot weather


It’s hard to think about tornado season when the ground is still covered with snow and ice, but tonight my husband and I went to a Spotter Talk to become trained weather spotters.

Reasons to become a trained spotter:

May 4, 2003 tornado outbreak in Kansas City

The remnants of my godparents' son's house, hit during the May 4, 2003 tornado outbreak in the Kansas City metro area.

Aftermath of the Greensburg, Kansas tornado in 2007.

Aftermath of the Greensburg, Kansas tornado in 2007.

Kansas’ wide-open skies lend themselves to cloud watching. Yet there have been times, especially while on the road, 30 miles away from the nearest exit, when all I could see were dark clouds and I and had no idea whether or not I was in real danger. One summer, we learned the hard way that you can’t always count on the regular radio. Convinced we were seeing a wall cloud, we flipped through the radio stations as we barreled south down the Turnpike toward the Topeka exit. There were no news breaks or updates. Yet when we arrived at the Topeka rest station, other travelers were surfacing from the storm shelter because the sirens had sounded in Topeka.

I’m not likely to turn into one of those insane storm chasers driving right into a storm. But thanks to what I learned during tonight’s 90-minute presentation, you might see me safely driving away from one.

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