By Kate Stow
The Atlanta Municipal Airport had a full house Tuesday night when locals gathered for a SKYWARN
Weather Spotting Class sponsored by the National Weather Service. Atlanta resident Bryan Loper
received his “NWS Spotter of the Year” award before the class began.
Presenters Davyon Hill and Ryan Knapp, of the NWS Shreveport office, explained cloud patterns and
“The radar behind our office is stationary – we depend on our spotters to give us true-ground reports of
what’s happening around our coverage area,” said Hill, who’s been at the Shreveport office since 2014.
Among other things, he gave and explained the “recipe” for a thunderstorm: moisture, trigger,
instability. Our proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, along with area lakes, provides the moisture ingredient.
Triggers include both cold and warm fronts, which create instability.
“Tornadoes can happen any month of year – but less during the summer months because there aren’t
any triggers in this part of the country,” said Hill. “The temperature stays the same – hot – from June to
Hill went on to explain the items spotters should report: tornadoes, funnel clouds and wall clouds; hail
of 1/2” or more in diameter; winds of 50mph or more, flooding or rain of 1” of more in an hour;
ice/snow accumulation; and injuries or damage caused by lightning.
The spotters-in-training were given instructions and a special number to call in reports to the NWS
office. Each of the trainees can receive an official NWS Spotter certificate online.
Toward the end of the program, a show of hands indicated that half of the 30+ trainees were amateur
radio “HAM” operators. Steve Farrell, of the NETX Amateur Radio Group, announced a series of training
classes to be held in Atlanta.
To learn more about the NETX Amateur Radio Group training class: www.etpg.net, email
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Steve Ferrell at 903-556-3229.
The first training class will be held at the Atlanta Public Library on March 14, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. There is
a $10.00 supply fee. Space is limited to call ahead to reserve your space.