Changes may be coming for the annual storm spotter training talks in spring

Discussions have begun among local weather officials and emergency management directors about the framework and content of what have commonly been called storm spotter training presentations each spring.

The sessions are open to the public, not just folks who are designated storm spotters when severe weather threatens. Butler County Emergency Management director Jim Schmidt said officials are discussing a variety of possible changes to the program.

Audience members complained that this year’s presentation was too depressing and not entertaining enough, Schmidt said. I would argue that the sessions needed to be serious in tone, coming in the wake of the deadliest year for tornadoes in decades.

Among the ideas being tossed around are holding sessions on weekends so people who can’t make it on a weeknight have another option, Schmidt said, and having more specialized and in-depth sessions for designated storm spotters. But conversations are in an embryonic stage, so nothing is firm yet.

If you’ve attended the classes before, what would you like to see more – or less – of? I’ll share your input with the National Weather Service here in Wichita.