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Program helps to ‘4WARN’ Wilson residents of dangerous weather

Caitlin Rickard crickard@lebanondemocrat.com • Mar 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Channel 4’s team of meteorologists stopped by Lebanon High School on Thursday night as part of an informative 4WARN Weather Alert Tour.

The multimedia program featured meteorologists Nancy Van Camp, Dan Thomas, Lisa Spencer and Paul Heggen. 

Snowbird, one of Nashville’s most recognized TV personalities, who’s been notifying viewers of school closings for more than 25 years, was also in attendance.

Throughout the night, the four informed and instructed attendees on weather-related topics through a series of PowerPoint slides, questions, games and displays.

The team fielded questions from the audience as well as answered questions from online Facebook polls.

Heggen also answered a frequently asked question on what actually makes a thunderstorm “severe.”

“Lightning has nothing to do with making a thunderstorm severe,” Heggen said. “If you have winds greater than 58 mph, at least one tornado spotted or on the radar and hail greater than one inch across, the storm is considered severe.”

According to Heggen, only around 10 percent of storms in the United States become severe.

“All tornadic thunderstorms are considered severe, but not all severe storms will produce tornadoes,” Heggen said.

The meteorologists also answered questions about storm watches and warning, delved into every topic from tornadoes to hail, showed on-screen how the radar they use works and explained what to do in the event of severe weather.

“If you hear thunder, you should definitely head indoors,” Thomas said. 

Thomas went onto explain that those outside should know that cars are a safe place to be, but places like picnic shelters are not.

Throughout the night, the team also took volunteers on stage to help plays games and answer questions.

Door prizes were given to volunteers and randomly to audience members.

Members of the National Weather Service were also on hand to program attendees’ weather radios.

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