KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Storms started up early this year. While we work to keep everyone in the region informed, we have also created a way to get you involved in the new Local 8 Weather Vols team.
Become a Weather Vol: Click here
The weather team has eyes on the weather 24-7, looking for pieces of a severe weather puzzle to come together, and then alert you to what's going on. But, what can be seen on the radar isn't the complete picture, your eyes on the ground are the final piece that can help everyone.
Scott Smith is a now a Weather Vol and he said, "A lot of people that don't pick up weather alerts, if I can do something to help them get to shelter, then I'm doing my job."
Scott has always lived in Campbell County, and never really thought too much about severe weather, until the Super Tornado Outbreak.
He said, "The outbreak of April 27th last year, I had a son that was affected in Greene County."
His son was right in the middle of an EF-3 and luckily was Okay, so Scott decided to research how weather works, and became fascinated with tornadoes.
Scott said, "The damage they can cause, definitely they can impact so much in such a little time."
Now, he wants to spot weather events and spread the word as a Weather Vol. "A tornado could destroy one house and miss the next," he said.
While Scott may be using the internet to learn more, some people who want to be weather spotters are already experienced.
Dale Kaiser researches the climate for Oak Ridge National Labs, and he said, "We're studying changes in heat waves, cold waves, droughts, and floods."
Kaiser's passion for weather started when he was child in up-state New York. "Spent a lot of time out on the dock, looking at the sky, looking at the lake, and it's just beautiful all times of the year, and got interested in the weather that way," he said.
Now his favorite events are snow storms. "Grew up with many, experienced many living in Oswego, New York, where we'd get 4 or 5 feet of snow," he described.
When he moved South to Oak Ridge, he didn't expect to see a lot of snow, and then came 1993.
Dale said, "We got anywhere from around 15 to 25 inches here in Knoxville, if I recall correctly. That was quite an event, that we haven't seen the likes of since then."
Just as the terrain varies across the region, the weather can be very different based on where you live.
And as a spotter and Weather Vol Dale understand the importance, "That sort of dense spotter network is good in terms of real time information to provide to those watching TV," he said.
Now this is your opportunity to get involved, no matter your weather experience.
You can get in on our new program by requesting to join the "Local 8 Weather Vols" group on Facebook, or sign up using the link above.