Storm Spotter class coming to Maplesville

Published 5:12 pm Friday, October 12, 2012

Maplesville has stood out on the map of Chilton County ever since a tornado tumbled through the small town on Jan. 23, sparing lives but leaving enough damage in its wake to merit a visit from Gov. Robert Bentley the next day.

Now, nearly a year since the tornado, the National Weather Service in Birmingham has chosen Maplesville as the site for its 2012 Fall Storm Spotter Class on Monday, Oct. 22.

The NWS holds the class bi-annually in a different location each time, rotating among the 39 counties (including Chilton) in its coverage area.

Meteorologist Kevin Laws of the NWS will lead the Oct. 22 class at 6 p.m. at the Maplesville Depot.

“We did [a class] in Chilton County about a year and a half ago,” Laws said. “We wanted to do another one to kind of follow up with what happened with the Maplesville tornado. I wanted to gear the talk toward what happened that morning.”

In addition to an in-depth review of the Jan. 23 tornado, Laws said the free hour-long class will cover storm-spotter basics, such as how to be situationally aware of what’s happening with the weather, how to interpret a weather radar while out in the field and how to determine what type of storm is developing.

“Really, it’s for anybody,” Laws said. “We can go over any concerns that they have. We’ll cover everything we can.”

Laws will provide all class materials, which participants may take home.

No pre-registration is required. Anyone interested can simply show up at the depot at 6 p.m., ready to learn and ask questions about storm spotting.