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Severe Weather Seminar, March 28

A local organization invites anyone who is interested in weather to attend a free severe weather seminar. The Allen County branch of the national Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ACARES), in collaboration with the Allen County Office of Homeland Security, will host the inaugural Allen County Severe Weather Seminar at the Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET.

Scheduled speakers include meteorologists from ABC21, Fort Wayne’s NBC, Fox 55 and WANE 15, as well as experienced, volunteer storm spotters. The event will include two sessions. From 10 a.m. to noon, speakers will present a basic storm spotter class, which will prepare attendees to recognize and report severe weather phenomena to benefit public safety. From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., speakers will cover more advanced topics, including obtaining and interpreting forecast data. People may register for either or both sessions. A break from noon to 1 p.m. will allow attendees to visit nearby restaurants for lunch.

The seminar is free and open to the general public, but seating is limited. ACARES therefore requests all who plan to attend, to register in advance at

“This seminar will help anyone gain the knowledge they need to help protect their communities from severe weather, such as tornadoes,” said Jim Moehring, emergency coordinator (team leader), ACARES. “The morning session is suitable for anyone interested in severe weather, including those with no previous training on the topic. The afternoon session will dig deeper, to help people who’ve received the basic training become even more knowledgeable.”

Moehring said the “ground truth” that volunteer spotters provide is essential to the process through which the National Weather Service (NWS) issues storm warnings. He pointed out that this remains true despite advances in technology.

A complete list of speakers and their topics follows:

• Matthew Bullock, ABC21 weekend meteorologist: Safely and effectively observing and reporting on severe squall lines (afternoon session).

• Michael Enfield, experienced storm spotter: The 2016 Woodburn tornado, first hand (afternoon session).

• Jay Farlow, ACARES assistant emergency coordinator for SKYWARN: Information resources for storm spotters (afternoon session).

• Nicholas Ferreri, WANE 15 chief meteorologist: “Thunderstorm Hazards” and “Cloud Identification” segments of the morning, basic session.

• Jim Moehring, ACARES emergency coordinator (team leader): Parts of the morning, basic storm spotter session.

• Steve Nardin, experienced storm spotter: Parts of the morning, basic storm spotter session.

• Caleb Saylor, Fox 55 weekend meteorologist: “Thunderstorm Ingredients & Lifecycle” and “Thunderstorm Types” segments of the morning, basic session.

• Jon Wilson, Fort Wayne’s NBC weekend meteorologist: Obtaining and interpreting data used in severe weather forecasting (afternoon session).

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) is a program of ARRL, the national association for amateur radio®. ARES establishes teams of volunteer, licensed amateur (ham) radio operators in counties throughout the country, each of which is led by an emergency coordinator. These volunteer teams train and practice to provide communication services to their communities in the event of a disaster. Through a memorandum of understanding signed by ARRL and the National Weather Service (NWS), ARES volunteers also commit to communicating weather information that assists the NWS in the creation of weather warnings. In addition, ARES volunteers practice their communication skills by providing two-way radio communications at public events, such as marathons, walk-a-thons, etc. More information about ARES is available on the ARRL website at