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KYLE, Texas —
The City of Kyle is hosting a National Weather Service (NWS) training on Thursday night for people to become official volunteer weather spotters. 
The NWS counts on the volunteers to be its “eyes” out in the field when severe weather hits. The real-time reports show things in person that meteorologists can't see on computers – and the reports can save lives. 
"People have cameras with them all the time now, and they can take images and they can share those sort of images. But still, getting trained folks to understand what we want reported," said Paul Yura, a warning coordination meteorologist for NWS Austin-San Antonio. "How to officially report, hail. Where's the best way to actually see if a tornado was forming? All of that is kind of covered in our actual severe weather training." 
The Basic SKYWARN Training gives a basic overview of severe weather events, the hazards they can cause, how they form and their structures. It also covers safety for things like hail, lightning and flash flooding. 
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The NWS doesn't invite people to go out into dangerous settings but to report what they see and experience from a safe distance. 
The spotters have come in handy for them, even in our most recent flooding events this week. 
"We're seeing things on radar as a meteorologist, but do we really know that's what's happening or what's falling at the ground or what the impacts are been?" Yura asked. "That's kind of where the, that's where the spotters really kind of add a lot of good Intel into what we need to know, so we can issue those warnings even faster and we then can verify what those warnings are." 
Thursday's training will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kyle Public Safety Center. It is free and open to anyone in Hays County and surrounding communities. 
But this isn't your only chance. There will be another training in Austin in March, and the NWS is also working to schedule more across Central Texas. You can find that information on the service's website. 
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