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Storm spotter training held in Lawton

(Source: KSWO) (Source: KSWO)
(Source: KSWO) (Source: KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Storm spotters and those who want to become one along, with local emergency managers, attended a special training session on Monday at Lawton City Hall. 

The free session, conducted by the National Weather Service, covered different types of severe weather and what to look for, but most importantly, it taught safety. 

The training session was not just for new spotters but it was also for experienced ones. 

Ron Grossman, a storm spotter of 25 years, experienced a close call just last year.

"I didn't know that there was a little, it looked like an EF-0 following me and we kinda got spun around with a couple of friends,” Grossman said. "My training helped me to recognize when there might possibly be something in the area but this time it snuck up on me."

Meteorologist Rick Smith, with the National Weather Service, said making sure something like that doesn't happen, and keeping people safe is the number one goal of this training. 

"These storms are real life things, I mean they will hurt you,” Smith said. “They will kill you if you don't know what you're doing. We really never encourage anyone to go out storm chasing. This information is for people who are out spotting and helping their communities."

Of the 90 people that attended, Terry Thornton was one of the newcomers. He said spotting is something he's always wanted to do.

"I'm kinda a weather nut. Anybody who knows me knows it's kinda my thing and every season I look forward to the tornado season or at least the rough weather season because it's actually one of those things that's not only fascinating but it's actually pretty beautiful," Thornton said.

While some think storms are beautiful, Smith said they're also dangerous. 

And even though the National Weather Service relies on people's reports to go along with their radars, they don't want anyone jeopardizing their own safety.

"We don't want anybody doing anything dangerous or stupid to get those reports to us,” Smith said. “Really, safety is the number one goal. If we don't get any reports but that means people are being safe and staying far away from the storm then that's our goal."

He said it's also important for spotters to report what they see and not what they think they're seeing.

This was the last class for this area, but you can learn more about spotting click here.

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