2015 Severe Weather Spotter Training

Scheduling for the 2015 storm spotter training season is nearly complete.  Spotter training will be held in March or April 2015, Monday through Thursday nights in various communities around the region. 

There are several on-line storm spotter training modules and reference materials available:

Do you have questions about SKYWARN or becoming a spotter? Click here for our SKYWARN FAQ page.  Most sessions are open to the general public with no need to pre-register.  All training is free and usually lasts around 2 hours.

Main NWS La Crosse contact for spotter training is Todd Shea, Warning Coordination Meteorologist.

Last Updated: 1/26/15

Date Time County City Location / Attendance
March 4 6:30 p.m. Fayette Oelwein, IA Northeast Iowa Community College
RAMS Center
1400 Technology Drive
March 5 6:30 p.m. Jackson Black River Falls, WI Ho-Chunk Admin. Bldg
W9814 Airport Road
March 12 7:00 p.m. Clayton Edgewood, IA Fire Station
March 16 6:30 p.m. Adams Adams, WI Adams County Community Center
Room 145b
569 N. Cedar Street
March 19 6:30 p.m. Mitchell/Floyd Osage, IA Mitchell County Conservation
Highway 9 - west of Osage
March 23 6:30 p.m. Grant Fennimore, WI Fire Station
March 24 6:30 p.m. Winneshiek Decorah, IA Decorah City Hall
Council Chambers
March 30 6:30 p.m. Grant Platteville, WI Fire Station
March 31 6:30 p.m. Olmsted Rochester, MN Rochester International
Event Center
April 2 6:30 p.m. Dodge Dodge Center, MN Fire Station
130 E. Highway St.
April 9 6:30 p.m. Wabasha Lake City, MN American Legion
224 S.Washington St.
April 13 6:30 p.m. Fillmore Spring Valley, MN Kingsland High School Gym
705 North Section Ave
April 14 6:30 p.m. Vernon Viroqua, WI To be announced
April 15 6:30 p.m. La Crosse La Crosse, WI Marycrest Auditorium
Mayo Clinic Health System
700 West Ave. S
April 20 6:30 p.m. Taylor Medford, WI Fire Station

Training from surrounding NWS offices:

Outline of the 2014 Presentation

First Half

  • Introduction to Storm Spotting
  • Information about NWS La Crosse
  • The Spotting Process
  • Sources of weather information
  • NWS Information / Outlooks
  • Spotter deployment 
  • Spotting locations
  • Stages of the thunderstorm (updraft/downdrafts)
  • Thunderstorm Hazards (Flooding, Lightning, Hail)
  • Downbursts
  • Thunderstorm Wind

Second Half

  • Squall Lines / Shelf Clouds
  • Supercells
  • Elements of the Supercell
  • Wall Clouds
  • Tornado definitions and examples
  • Funnel clouds
  • Challenges to spotters 
  • Spotter reporting procedures/guidelines
  • Spotter safety (focus on El Reno, OK tornado)
  • Case study from July 22, 2013 (near Winona, MN)

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