Regional Severe Weather Seminar

Date: Sunday, March 10, 2013

highlight Regional Severe Weather Seminar March 10


        Learning to recognize the dangers of severe weather can be the key to being prepared for disaster.

        That’s the message organizers of the 2013 Regional Severe Weather Seminar hope to convey to those attending the March 10 event in Saline County.

      “Being prepared is the key to surviving severe weather no matter what the threat,” said B.J. Fictum, Saline County emergency management coordinator and one of several event organizers.

      “Whether it is in Nebraska, Texas, Kentucky or the Deep South, springtime severe weather is starting earlier every year,” Fictum said, noting that in 2012 and 2011, Nebraska experienced its earliest severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings ever.

      “Not only is severe weather starting earlier in the year, the severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are becoming more destructive,” he added. “People must plan ahead, be cognizant of weather occurring around them, and listen to the watches and the warnings to best protect themselves and their families.”

      The afternoon’s activities begin at 1 p.m. with a keynote presentation by Kansas City area meteorologist, stormchaser, tornado forecast researcher and author Jon Davies, who will speak on “Midwest Severe Weather Live.”

      Davies grew up in Pratt, Kan., and has worked for The Weather Channel, Weatherdata Inc., KSNW-TV and Wichita State University. In addition to a number of research papers, Davies and his wife Shawna are stormchasers and authors of the children’s book “Storm Chasers! On The Trail of the Twisters.”

      Other scheduled presentations include “2013: Spotters Make The Difference” by Cathy Zapotocny, National Weather Service Omaha/Valley forecaster; and “The Record Breaking and Extreme Weather of 2013” with Dr. Ken Dewey, UNL climatologist and stormchaser.

      Lincoln television meteorologists Luke Dorris (KLKN-TV Channel 8) and Brandon Rector (Channels 10/11) plus Hastings’ KHAS-TV meteorologists Travis Klanecky & Joe Thompson will be present early in the event for a meet-and-greet.

      The highlight of the event will be a display of more than 100 severe weather posters drawn by Crete fourth grade students as part of the Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Week Poster Contest. The top four artists will be honored at the start of the afternoon.

      The event also includes the weather spotter training session. Anyone is welcome to attend.

      Among the emergency management and preparedness displays tentatively scheduled as of Feb. 27 include the Great Plains Severe Weather Team, High Plains Regional Climate Center Remote Weather Monitoring Station, Fillmore County Emergency Management, Norris Public Power District, Lincoln/Lancaster County Mobile Operations Center, American Red Cross Disaster Services Unit, National Weather Service Omaha/Valley, Public Health Solutions District Health Department, Blue Valley REACT, Nebraska State Patrol Mobile Command Post and Nebraska Emergency Management Agency.

      The Weather Seminar begins at 1 p.m. and ends about 5 p.m. with a free lunch.

     Saline County Emergency Management, in cooperation with the National Weather Service and other local businesses, is sponsoring the free afternoon event.

      There is no admission to attend the public seminar, which includes door prizes and a free lunch. NOAA all-hazards weather radios, rain gauges and other weather-related items will be among the door prizes.

      Saline Center Hall is located 3 miles west and 9 miles south of Dorchester, or 11 miles west and 3 miles north of Wilber on Nebraska Highway 15.

      More information on the severe weather seminar is available by contacting Fictum at (402) 821-3010 or 821-2412; or via email at or anytime.

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