County encouraging public to assist with severe weather reporting

The Centre County Office of Emergency Services is encouraging the public to participate in the Skywarn spotter program, and is offering classes to educate the public on severe weather.

Skywarn is a voluntary program “in which the public can participate and interact with their local National Weather Service office,” a Monday news release said. Spotters are encouraged to pass critical weather information on to their local NWS office, supporting warning and forecast options.

Volunteers include police and fire personnel, utility workers and other concerned citizens, the release said. Skywarn classes cover topics like thunderstorm development, identifying severe weather features and how to report severe weather.

Residents are invited to a class sponsored by the Office of Emergency Management at 6:30 p.m. April 21 at the Willowbank Building in Bellefonte. Register by calling 355-6745 by April 18.