BILLINGS — It was a packed house inside the Billings Public Library on Tuesday night, as weather watchers gathered to learn more from members of the Q2 weather team and the National Weather Service.
This is the first time the storm spotter seminar has been held since 2019 before the pandemic, and these two 11-year-old boys from Hardin were excited to be there.
"Yeah. I want to be a storm tracker and chase tornadoes. Then it's kind of scary when your truck gets picked up by the storm," said one boy, Chance.
"Yeah and then it gets flipped," added Payton, a friend of Chance.
The Hardin boys were not alone in their love for natural weather phenomena. About 118 people turned out to learn.
Jim Green was one of them. He used to watch the storms roll in from his old house on 80th Street West and Grand Avenue in Billings. He said 2010 was a doozy.
"Oh, God. That summer, we had a ton of tornadoes. I saw a tornado come probably within 50 feet of us. Right by us from Laurel. Came right at us and went through Echo Canyon," Green said.
After the seminar, people in attendance could call themselves bona fide storm spotters and help provide eyes on the ground for big weather events, helping out the National Weather Service. Jackie Klasna from Laurel said she tunes into two Q2 weather broadcasts per day, because weather affects her livelihood.
"We both grew up on farms and ranches, so weather is extremely important to both of us. My husband still works in the fields for neighbors and it makes a difference whether or not he works many days of the week. It's interesting," Klasna said.
If you missed the seminar on Tuesday, keep an eye out around this time next year for another storm spotter course.