The University of Maine at Presque Isle will host a Thunderstorm Safety/Spotter Workshop with WAGM Meteorologist Ted Shapiro on Friday, June 22 from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. in the Campus Center. Campus and community members of all ages are invited to attend this free event.
"The workshop will serve as an excellent primer for campus and community members as we continue through the thunderstorm season," Shapiro said. "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. I'll also teach folks about clues they can look for in the morning, hours before thunderstorms may even occur!"
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.
Severe weather can strike unexpectedly and cause serious damage to property and fatalities. According to U.S. Natural Hazard Statistics compiled by the Office of Climate, Water and Weather Services and the National Climatic Data Center, lightning accounted for about 26 weather fatalities in 2011. While many people think that lightning causes the greatest loss of life in thunderstorms, it is actually flash flooding, and, to illustrate that point, Shapiro will show some incredible video of a rapid road washout.
"This is a great, informative event for everyone and I would hope that parents and teachers bring their school-age kids to learn about thunderstorm safety," Shapiro said. "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.
While the course will be held in the Campus Center, participants may step outside for a few minutes if there are any good "sky clues" on display. For more information about this free event, please contact UMPI's Community and Media Relations Office at 768-9452.