DM's first storm spotter training

  • Published
  • By U.S. Air Force story by Aiman 1st Class Jhade Herrera
  • 355th Wing

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – The 355th Operations Support Squadron weather operations flight partnered up with the Tucson National Weather Service for storm spotter training at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 11, 2024.

A trained storm spotter plays a pivotal role in communicating severe weather information to the 355th Wing’s weather flight and the National Weather Service, which are responsible for protecting over 1.1 million Tucson residents and Davis-Monthan Airmen.

“There's a lot of things that a weather sensor can't read or see,” said Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Trudel, 355th OSS WX flight chief. “Those are things that only human beings with a good understanding of what they're seeing are able to communicate.”

The training is made up of foundational storm spotter information like identifying severe reportable criteria to the National Weather Service and the base weather flight when it's seen.

“Upon request, they've offered to give this training to our military community for the first time on base,” said Trudel.

Storm spotters serve as another set of eyes and ears across base. They can report real-time, ground-level observations of severe weather conditions to the weather flight to enhance their capabilities.

“It's something that's never been done before,” said 1st Lt. Samantha Lolo, 355th OSS WX flight commander. “With such a big base population, this could make a big difference to the base.”

Airmen with different AFSCs contributed to the community with this training, increasing overall situational awareness, and helping residents and emergency responders better prepare for and respond to hazardous weather events.