The National Weather Service and local emergency officials rely on storm spotters to give them up to the minute information so new warnings or tornado sirens can alert the public of what's coming.
Adams County Emergency Management Director John Simon says during severe weather they get a lot of reports from people about strange looking clouds but because they aren't from a certified storm spotter, the reports aren't as credible.
Storm spotters have to go through a training course every two years which outlines what specifically to look for.
"So if there were no storm spotters out there, we would only have to rely on technology. And what storm spotters provide us is they provide us that ground truth information that a computer, technology can't necessarily tell us exactly what's going on in real time," said John Simon, the Adams County Emergency Management Director.
Simon adds a reminder that a storm spotter and a storm chaser are not the same thing. Simon says his office does not endorse storm chasing, because of how dangerous it can be.
This year's WGEM Storm Spotters Seminar is Monday, starting at 6 p.m. at John Wood Community College in Quincy. There is no cost to attend and no reservation is required.
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