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Storm spotter training offered by the NW

The National Weather Service (NWS) will be holding a SKYWARN Severe Weather Spotter Training in Austin, Minnesota on Monday, March 16.

The training will be held at the Crane Community Chapel, 1111 9th Street NE starting at 6:30 p.m. Pre-registration is not needed.

A man watches storm clouds churn above Corning in August last year. The National Weather Service will be holding a training session on storm spotting this coming March. Herald file photo

The class will last around two hours and includes a multimedia presentation. Training is intended for storm spotters or potential storm spotters, but is open to the public and free of charge. A review of recent and past severe weather will be included.

The NWS relies heavily on actual storm reports from “spotters”, which can include sheriff’s departments, local emergency management officials, police and fire departments, amateur radio operators, or anyone else that has attended one of these classes. These reports can prompt warnings that save lives – a proven fact we’ve seen many times in our region.

Todd Shea, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the weather service in La Crosse, Wisconsin organizes the training each year and encourages large groups and active volunteers.

“Accurate and timely reports of severe weather, by trained individuals, not only helps our office, but can save lives in the local community,” Shea said. “We always need more eyes to the sky.”

Mower County, as well as other areas of southeast Minnesota, always needs more “ground-truth” weather reports to pass along to the National Weather Service.   

You can view the training schedule at: www.weather.gov/lacrosse/skywarn_schedule.