News — 19 April 2017

By Michael Christianson

Warning Preparedness Meteorologist Geoff Coulson was in Dryden last week for the fifth Northwestern Ontario Conference on Disaster Management put on by the Northwest Response Forum.

He opened his talk with a recount of weather events from the last year in the region, which included hail events as well as flooding events in Dryden and Thunder Bay.

“This has been a great event for us since it’s been held I’ve been coming up doing a presentation,” said Coulson. “What we really find is this is the audience, one of my key client groups, emergency managers, emergency responders, people dealing with these situations that are either caused by the weather or the response has been complicated by the weather. So their knowledge, some of the information I gave in the presentation today, is helping to arm them better with making the response somewhat easier.”

Coulson says that in 2017 it is easier than ever to be an active participant in weather preparations. He said there are a variety of apps and resources to track weather and potentially dangerous storms.

During his presentation Coulson emphasizes the danger that thunder and lightning pose. He said when you hear the roar, go indoors and that you should wait 30 minutes after the last rumble before going outdoors and lightning can travel far out from the epicenter of a storm. He added some personal stories of his kids being mad they couldn’t get back on the soccer field when other children did but he had their safety in mind.

Looking forward Coulson said Dryden might have another busy season.

“This could potentially be another pretty active summer,” said Coulson. “We don’t really have a feeling right now for how warm it’s going to be right now it looks like more of a traditional summer based on the long range forecast but this is the transition season we’re getting into; still a chance in the coming weeks for a little bit more snow in the northwest before we fully go over to spring mode but once that does happen we’re going to see more of these thunderstorms popping up and I think just this idea of awareness, some of the websites that we talked about today, getting that out to the public and letting them use them as well for their own personal use that would be great.”

Coulson will be back in Dryden for the Canwarn training session on June 15 at the Dryden Fire Services Training Room.

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