The University of Maine at Presque Isle will host a Thunderstorm Safety/Spotter Workshop with WAGM Chief Meteorologist Ted Shapiro on Wednesday, June 25 from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m. in Folsom Hall Room 303. Campus and community members of all ages are encouraged to attend this free event.
"I'll be sharing some important weather-watching skills everyone should know to help them identify impending thunderstorms so they can properly prepare for them," Shapiro said. "I'll also teach folks about clues they can look for in the morning, hours before thunderstorms have even developed!"
While Northern Maine experiences severe thunderstorms every year, even non-severe thunderstorms can be deadly, so it is critical to know the signs that a storm may be brewing, Shapiro explained.
While many people think that lightning causes the greatest loss of life in thunderstorms, it is actually flash flooding during these storms that causes the most fatalities, and, to illustrate that point, Shapiro will show some incredible video of a rapid road washout.
"I would love to see parents and teachers bring their school-age kids to this workshop to learn about thunderstorm safety," Shapiro said. "My motto is: Be prepared for thunderstorms this summer... know the signs ahead of time!"
Ted Shapiro was born and raised near Washington, D.C. He has served as Chief Meteorologist at WAGM-TV in Presque Isle since 2006. He also teaches a field course in weather observation at UMPI.
This workshop is part of the University of Maine at Presque Isle's StormReady efforts. In 2007, UMPI received a federal designation as a National Weather Service StormReady University, making it the second campus in New England, after Harvard University, and the 21st campus in the nation to receive this designation. Established in 1999, StormReady helps arm communities with the planning, communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property before and during storm events. Program "communities" can include cities, towns, universities, Indian Nations, and government and private entities. Among the requirements that must be met to maintain a StormReady designation is promoting the importance of public readiness through community seminars.