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City Corner: Become a storm spotter

By By Jennifer Sourdellia
Feb. 16, 2014 at 1:04 p.m.
Updated Feb. 16, 2014 at 8:17 p.m.


I am interested in attending the upcoming storm spotter class offered by the city/county Office of Emergency Management. Can you provide more details?

Yes. Throughout South Texas, dedicated people provide firsthand severe weather reports to their local officials and the National Weather Service in Corpus Christi.

The National Weather Service in Corpus Christi is looking for volunteers to become trained storm spotters. Spotters learn to identify potentially tornadic storms and other severe weather conditions. The goal of the training is not just to recognize tornadoes but to also have some understanding of storm structures, which better prepares the spotter for the extreme and unusual circumstances they may face as a spotter.

Storm spotters help protect the lives and property of the citizens of South Texas by relaying critical life-saving information in a timely manner.

The Victoria City/County Office of Emergency Management is coordinating a Skywarn class and training from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday at the Alcorn Auditorium at the University of Houston-Victoria West Building, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. The seminar/training is free of charge and open to the public. The class curriculum will include the following topics:

•  What is a storm spotter?

•  Atmospheric ingredients for thunderstorms: instability/moisture/lifting forces

•  Thunderstorm types: squall line/single cell clusters/supercells

•  Downbursts/gustnadoes/landspouts

•  Supercell types and structures

•  Rear flank downdrafts and tornado formation

•  Night spotting

•  Understanding radar abilities and limitations

•  Spotter techniques - viewing angles and staying safe

•  What to report and how to report

For more information about the storm spotter class or to register, contact Jennifer Bedford with the Victoria Office of Emergency Management at 361-580-5770 or jbedford@victoriatxoem.org.

Does the city conduct a warrant roundup each year? How can I find out if I'm on the warrant list?

Yes. Each year, the Victoria Police Department and Victoria Municipal Court participate in the Great Texas Warrant Roundup. During March, the police department and municipal court join more than 260 Texas law enforcement agencies to round up and arrest people with outstanding arrest warrants at their homes, places of employment or anywhere else they are found.

People with warrants, unpaid parking tickets or traffic fines should pay them on or before Feb. 28 to avoid the embarrassment and expense of being publicly arrested and jailed. Fines can be paid from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Victoria Municipal Court, 107 W. Juan Linn St. Tickets can also be paid by calling 361-485-3050 or online at municipalonlinepayments.com/victoriatx.

Warrants will be served beginning March 1.

If you don't know if there is a warrant out for your arrest, stop by the municipal court or call it at 361-485-3050. It can tell you if you are on the warrant list.

Do you have a question about the city of Victoria? Please submit your questions and comments about any city department to Jennifer Sourdellia in the Communications/Public Information Office by emailing jsourdellia@victoriatx.org or mail to P.O. Box 1758, Victoria, TX 77902.

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