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Changes being made for National Weather Service spotters

CINCINNATI (Scott Dimmich) -- The National Weather Service will soon change the way they receive severe weather reports.

Technology is great.  But nothing beats a spotter report from someone actually in the field.  They tell us what they see, whether it is damage, flooding, or a tornado.  Unfortunately, one of the ways the National Weather Service receives reports from trained spotters, called ESpotter, will be shut down by early April.

ESpotter is a website where you can log in as a spotter and make a report.  National Weather Service headquarters tells us this password-protected site will be replaced by a simple, electronic form on the National Weather Service in Wilmington's website.

Even with this change, the Campbell County Emergency Manager wants spotters in our area to continue reporting what they see to the NWS.

"I think irregardless of what method you're going to make the notifications back to the weather service, I think the important part is that we have trained people to do that and that they can freely pass along the information that the Weather Service wants," William Turner, Campbell County Emergency Manager, said.

I spoke with the National Weather Service in Wilmington on Thursday and they said the website change isn't a big concern for them.  But they hope there is small or no gap between the ESpotter program and this new website form.  The National Weather Service hasn't set a timeline for this switch yet.  This as our peak severe weather season is fast approaching.

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