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CANWARN Severe Weather Training

Posted by Dave Colvin on Monday, April 24th, 2017

The County of Perth is partnering with Environment Canada to expand its CANWARN Weather Spotter network in the Region. Building on the success of last year’s workshops, the County hopes to strengthen Environment Canada’s weather spotter network in the area. Two sessions are being offered on Tuesday, April 25th at Perth County Paramedic Headquarters. A daytime session is being held for local officials, and an evening public session is SOLD OUT with over 70 participants.


“CANWARN volunteers are trained to look for clues in the sky as to which storms may produce damaging weather. They can also report important information on hail size and any damage that has resulted from the passage of a storm.” says Environment Canada’s Warning Preparedness Meteorologist Geoff Coulson. “They can send in their reports directly to the Ontario Storm Prediction Centre through an unlisted, toll-free phone number, a special email address, Twitter or through a local ham radio network if they are a ham radio operator.”

Information from all of these sources is monitored by the Weather Centre 24/7. Reports received by CANWARN volunteers often play an integral role in the decision to issue or update a warning bulletin for a given area and specific mention is often made of the type of information received by a storm spotter within the text of the warning bulletin.

“The training covers the basics of thunderstorm formation, what differentiates a severe from a non-severe thunderstorm, the types of damage severe thunderstorms can produce, what to watch for in the sky, what to report to the Storm Prediction Centre and a series of safety tips” adds Dave Colvin, Perth County’s Emergency Management Coordinator.

“Originating in 1987 as a program with amateur radio operators, there are over 6,000 volunteers province-wide. We still have strong representation from the amateur radio operators, but increasing numbers are coming in from the Red Cross, emergency services, municipalities, conservation authorities and the general public,” says Coulson.

The media are invited to attend either event. Geoff Coulson and other officials will be available for interviews.[hc1] 

Date:               Tuesday, April 25th – 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm until 9:30 pm

Location:        Perth County Paramedic Headquarters - 480 Douro Street, Stratford

Contact:          Dave Colvin, Emergency Management Coordinator


                        Mobile: (519) 301-3586


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