2015 Severe Weather Spotter Training

Scheduling has begun for the 2015 storm spotter training season.  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: 12/15/14

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 12 7:00 p.m. Clayton Edgewood, IA Fire Station
March 19 6:30 p.m. Mitchell/Floyd Osage, IA  
March 30 6:30 p.m. Grant Platteville, WI  
March 31 6:30 p.m. Olmsted Rochester, MN Rochester International
Event Center

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)

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.