Severe Weather Awareness Day - March 1, 2014

Severe Weather Awareness Day 2014

Theme:  The 40th Anniversary of the April 3rd, 1974 Super Outbreak

When: March 1st, 2014  (9 AM – 5 PM)

Where: Trevecca Nazarene University Conference Center

(333 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37210)


Registration                              Main Agenda


Directions              Break Out Agenda


Break Out Session Descriptions


Online Basic Spotter Class Schedule

(Recommended for non-spotters prior to attending)


Event Brochure






The SKYWARN program would be nothing without eager volunteers. Luckily for us, Tennessee is the Volunteer State. SKYWARN Storm Spotting classes offered by the National Weather Service have been immensely successful here in Middle Tennessee because of the quantity of people who want to know more about the weather that they see every day and the severe weather they see every year. For the most part, people know that Doppler radar can’t see everything needed to be 100% safe or always allow plenty of lead time before severe weather impacts your neighborhood. Therefore, it is very helpful to be as educated in as much severe weather know-how as possible.

Every year, the NWS in Nashville schedules dozens of Storm Spotting classes across Middle Tennessee. Every year, they see many new faces, but many familiar ones as well. While their goal is to educate as many interested people as possible, seeing Spotters return each year lets them know that they are providing useful information that is being enjoyed by their participants. One of the challenges faced as a result is how to make things new and interesting year in and year out. How do they keep you all coming back for more and staying up to date on the latest in severe weather education?

As a result, the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the National Weather Association (Alpha Psi Chapter), has partnered with the Nashville National Weather Service office to host the 3rd Annual Severe Weather Awareness Day in hopes of providing new and exciting insight into the many facets of meteorology.  What are some of the things that meteorologists look at to determine if a threat is imminent? What variables do they consider to determine if severe weather is likely? What do those variables mean? When they say, “steep low-level lapse rates coupled with surface CAPE values greater than 2000 j/kg and 50 knots of 0-6 km bulk shear,” what does that mean exactly? These are questions that we, as the public, ask frequently and we think it’s time all of that mumbo jumbo was explained.

Advanced Storm Spotter Training will be one of the many presentations provided which will consist of the same topics as traditional spotter trainings in the past such as safe spotting techniques, identification of key cloud formations, and NWS product information, but will be taken a step further. The advanced training will also include explanation of some key severe weather variables such as CAPE, LI, and other severe weather indicators, radar theory, and unique differences in severe weather potential associated with varying storm types such as supercells and quazi-linear convective systems (QLCS).

In addition to the Advanced Spotter Training, and as part of Tennessee Severe Weather Awareness Week, you will also get to see how severe weather is dealt with in all forms of meteorology. Western Kentucky University (WKU) and University of Alabama Huntsville meteorology students will be on hand to share some basic weather experiments, demonstrations, and share some insight into the cutting-edge science that is being done in the research world. The local TV media will also be participating, answering questions and discussing the role they play in broadcasting life-saving information to the public during severe weather situations. New this year, a special virtual presentation will be given by forecasters from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma! Other groups such as the Nashville Chapter of the American Red Cross, Metro Nashville Office of Emergency Management, HAM radio groups, and other disaster preparedness groups will be present to provide you their information directly and answer any questions you may have for them. Its a great chance to meet all of the people you turn to during severe weather and answer your questions.

The theme of this year's event is the April 3rd, 1974 Super Outbreak. We will be having special presentations including the meteorological set up, accounts from those who were affected by the outbreak, and more!

So come on out to Trevecca Nazarene University on March 1st, 2014 if you would like to participate in a fun-filled day of severe weather awareness and education. The only requirement is that you register to attend. It is also STRONGLY encouraged that you are at least basic spotter trained as some of these presentations will be advanced. If you aren’t currently a spotter, you can still participate by either attending a Storm Spotter class near you before March 1st, or complete one of the new NWS Online Spotter Training Classes.

Only the first 500 registered will be able to attend the event so register ASAP!  Keep your eye on the NWS website and Facebook page for more updates to come such as the event agenda and list of speakers. If you would like more information, contact Trevor Boucher at

We look forward to seeing you there!

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