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Being prepared for severe weather

Meteorologist Joe Sullivan discussing the options for online weather updates with Bobby Edwards of 99.1 The Hoss radio station. PJ Martin/The Herald-News

By PJ Martin

Office/News Reporter, Metcalfe Division

Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) Joe Sullivan with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Louisville spent last Thursday in Metcalfe County teaching the community about severe weather.

He began with a visit to the Metcalfe County Middle School where he spoke to the science class about the different types of clouds, and various other weather types. Sullivan also spent some time at the local radio station WHSX FM The Hoss.

Sullivan presented a weather spotter class at the Middle School auditorium at 6 p.m. which was open to the public. Around 40 area citizens took the opportunity to learn more about how to spot severe weather and become weather spotters for the NWS.

The goal of the NWS is to have a 13-minute warning when severe weather is imminent explained Sullivan. Some of the topics discussed in detail were: the life cycle of a thunderstorm, how hail forms, how a tornado forms, the dangers of lightning, the various warning systems, when warning/watches are issued, and the perils of flash floods.

Being one of the wettest years in Kentucky, Sullivan spotlighted the fact that the biggest loss of life does not come from tornadoes, it actually comes from flooding. The phrase, “Turn Around Don’t Drown” holds true. “In 6 out of 8 cases, they were in cars,” stated Sullivan referring to flood drowning victims.

Sullivan emphasized the need for everyone to develop an emergency plan, be prepared, and stay informed in any emergency situation. Staying informed is much easier today with weather radios, online radar, and cell phone apps which give you up-to-date alerts.

Having multiple sources for weather updates is advised and use only trusted sources such as NOAA weather radios, cell phone apps, local radio, and TV or online at or

Meteorologist Joe Sullivan listening intently to a question from the audience. PJ Martin/The Herald-News







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