Storm spotters ready much earlier because of February severe storm threat

Storm spotters ready much earlier because of February severe storm threat

BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) - As severe weather moves in for the first time this year, there's a group ready to hit the road and get important warnings out.

Don't be surprised if you see someone pulled over on an overpass as tonight's severe weather rolls in. It could be a trained SkyWarn weather spotter on the job much earlier than usual.

Eric Willman is one of them. When asked at what point he would go outside tonight and look up to the sky.

Willman said, "We will be monitoring the radio networks and if National Weather Service requests that we come out, we will definitely do that immediately."

Willman is a storm spotter and the emergency coordinator for Amateur Radio Emergency Services.

He's a ham radio enthusiast who will watch the sky for tornado-producing clouds and report it, to keep us safe.

"So if they see rotation on that computer screen and they can confirm that I am seeing rotation in the field, it will become a warning instantaneously at that point," said Willman.

Willman went into the 911 Center at the Wood County Sheriff's Office to see if any ham radio operators were listening yet. In early afternoon, there wasn't, but expect that to change as the line of storms gets closer.

"In some cases for guys like me that have been ham radio operators for 35 plus years, it's just another day in the neighborhood and it's what we do," Willman added.

The February severe storms come so early in the season that SkyWarn training sessions they have every year haven't been held yet. They're not scheduled until March and April.

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