Over 100 weather professionals from three states gathered Wednesday to discuss weather related issues.
The National Weather Service office in Wichita organized the 2014 Integrated Warning Team gathering. Meteorologists from National Weather Service offices in Kansas and Nebraska participated, along with emergency management personnel and media from around Kansas and educators from Oklahoma. The event was held in the Rice County community of Lyons.
Topics discussed included, among others, criteria for issuing specialized warnings for lakes campgrounds, and specific large outdoor gatherings. Criteria for when and why to sound outdoor warning sirens, potential changes in impact based warnings, and discussion of the use of social media for disseminating weather information were other major topics discussed.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Chance Hayes organized the event. He tells KSAL News the goal is that “we in the weather enterprise, the media, emergency management, and the National Weather Service draw closer together so that we can work closer together to better serve the public.” Hayes says there is already a good relationship between the three groups, and he hopes to strengthen it even more.
Hayes says that the information gathered at the Wednesday event will be analyzed. “It will then hopefully be utilized to implement some new procedures that will improve our services.”
Among those participating at the event Wednesday were members of the KSAL Severe Weather Team including news director Todd Pittenger and storm spotter Henry Diehl.