City to offer training that helps report local weather conditions to the National Weather Service

Signal file photo The first of three rainstorms headed to the SCV was expected to start late Wednesday. The second is forecast to hit late Friday, with a third expected to arrive Sunday. Here, a man wears a plastic poncho Jan. 5 as he walks on Lyons Avenue in Newhall.
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From tornadoes to thunderstorms, the United States is struck by severe weather conditions year-round, including in the Santa Clarita Valley. To help the National Weather Service obtain critical information, the city of Santa Clarita is once again offering its storm spotter program.

A free training, hosted by city staff, is scheduled at 7 p.m. on March 13 in the council chambers at City Hall, located at 23920 Valencia Blvd.

The NWS’ program started in the 1970s and has since enabled the agency to issue more timely and accurate warnings thanks to its more than 350,000 trained volunteers throughout the nation, who identify and describe severe local storms in their communities to the weather service.

For nearly two decades, Santa Clarita has partnered with the NWS to offer the training. The area has roughly 118 weather spotters, according to Donna Nuzzi, the city’s emergency services supervisor.

“Since we started the inception of it, the program has grown here in Santa Clarita,” she said. “There’s now a greater interest with the weather being so much more extreme.”

Those interested will take a 90-minute training session to learn about severe weather hazards, and how the NWS works. Once trained, storm spotters will receive a personal identification number and a packet including instructions. When severe weather occurs, volunteers would then have to call in a report to the NWS’ Oxnard office.

“There can be no finer reward than to know that their efforts have given communities the precious gift of time — seconds and minutes that can help save lives,” the NWS said.

According to the weather service provider, more than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the nation in an average year.
For more information about the training, contact Joe Sirard at [email protected] or visit santa-clarita.com/emergency.

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