- Cullman, Alabama

February 26, 2013

Storm spotter class Tuesday

Weather service official teaching educational, safety course

By Ashley Graves
The Cullman Times

— Ever wonder how to distinguish a funnel cloud from a scud cloud? Or, what exactly is a shelf cloud?

With the primary severe weather season set to begin later this week, the Cullman County Emergency Management Agency, along with the Sheriff’s Office, City Police Department, and the National Weather Service office in Huntsville, are offering the opportunity to learn about severe storm spotting and weather safety.

The class is being held at Cullman City Hall tonight beginning at 6 p.m. It’s free of charge.

“We’re not pushing people to be storm spotters,” Cullman EMA director Phyllis Little said. “This is just to give people an idea of what to look for and how to protect yourself when we have severe weather.”

Tim Troutman with the NWS in Huntsville will be conducting the class. Little said it should last anywhere from an hour-and-a-half to two hours.

“It’s really good all around severe weather awareness,” she said.

In addition, she added, the information gained could help the EMA out as well, as storms are bearing down on the area.

“It helps to have ground truth reports in addition to what we’re looking at on radar,” Little said. “If someone happens to be out, or at home, and they see something suspicious, they can call us, and we can call and report it to the National Weather Service.”

Though severe weather can strike at any moment of any month in Alabama, the most active months tend to be in March, April, and May — the primary severe weather season. Secondary severe weather season is during October and November.

Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at