2015 Storm Spotter Class Schedule

It's time to begin preparing for the 2015 severe weather season.  Last year, the first thunderstorm-related severe weather event in the Tri-State area occurred April 20th.  It was a brief tornado in Thomas County, KS east of Colby which developed in the afternoon.  During the last full week of April, storm spotters called in numerous reports of hail and strong wind.  The most significant event last summer was a large storm complex sweeping over the area on June 14th.  It resulted in 117 reports of severe weather, including downed utility poles, power outages, uprooted trees, baseball-size hail, broken windows, overturned irrigation pivots and destroyed grain bins.  Storm spotters called in many of these reports to our office during the event, which helped our warning forecasters stay on top of the situation.

One of the earliest severe weather outbreaks to hit the region occurred on March 28, 2007 when a record-setting 16 tornadoes occurred in the 19-county warning area served by the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Goodland.  All NWS offices rely on severe weather reports from storm spotters ... volunteers who make a commitment to observe and relay reports of large hail, damaging wind and tornadoes.  Information from spotters is immediately passed along to broadcast media who then inform the public.  Reports are also used to enhance the wording in warnings and often help the warning forecaster decide whether or not to issue, continue or cancel a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning.

The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Goodland, KS is offering storm spotter classes in all 19 counties in the Tri-State area.  The first class in 2015 will be held Monday, March 2nd in Leoti, Kansas.  Classes will continue most weekday evenings during March until the final class on Tuesday, March 31st in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado.

These interesting and informative classes are open to the public and are offered free of charge.  If you would like to assist your local community by becoming a volunteer storm spotter, or if you simply want to learn more about severe weather on the High Plains, consider attending one of our classes.  Becoming a storm spotter is not mandatory if you attend a class.  Many folks simply want to learn more about weather on the High Plains.  All classes are held in the evening at 6:30 pm local time and will last approximately 2 1/4  hours.  Topics will include severe weather climatology, storm structure and evolution, important cloud types, weather safety and how to report severe weather events.

The National Weather Service and county emergency managers have completed the storm spotter class schedule for this year.  Check out the list below for the location of a spotter talk near you!  Call 785-899-7119 with any questions about spotter classes, content and locations.

March, 2015 - Upcoming
Day City, State Time Location
09 Benkelman, NE
(Dundy County)
6:30pm MDT Dundy County EMS Building - 1305 A Street
10 Norton, KS
(Norton County)
6:30pm CDT Norton County 4-H Building 126 E. Park Street. East of 283 at north end of fairgrounds.
Contact Information: * Note location change from 2014 *
11 Trenton, NE
(Hitchcock County)
6:30pm CDT EMS Building 333 Main St
12 McCook, NE
(Red Willow County)
6:30pm CDT Senior Center - 1400 W 5th Street
16 Burlington, CO
(Kit Carson County)
6:30pm MST Ambulance Building - 1576 Lowell Ave
17 Hoxie, KS
(Sheridan County)
6:30pm CDT Bowen Scout House - 1041 Sheridan St
18 Oberlin, KS
(Decatur County)
6:30pm CDT Gateway Building - 1 Morgan Drive
19 Grainfield, KS
(Gove County)
6:30pm CDT 4-H Building - 757 W 3rd St
23 St Francis, KS
(Cheyenne County)
6:30pm CDT High School Cafeteria - 100 S College
24 Wray, CO
(Yuma County)
6:30pm MDT Ambulance Building - Hwy 34 and Blake
25 Atwood, KS
(Rawlins County)
6:30pm CDT Prairie Developmental Center - 208 S 4th
26 Oakley, KS
(Logan County)
6:30pm CDT Courthouse Downstairs - 710 W 2nd
27 Sharon Springs, KS
(Wallace County)
6:30pm MDT CAB - South of town at fairgrounds
30 Tribune, KS
(Greeley County)
6:30pm MDT 4-H Building - Ingalls Ave at Fairgrounds
31 Kit Carson, CO
(Cheyenne County)
6:30pm MDT Fire House - 306 W Hwy 40/287

March, 2015 - Completed
Day City, State Time Location
02 Leoti, KS
(Wichita County)
6:30pm CST Community Bldg at Fairgrounds. 502 East M Street. South side
Contact Information: * Note location change *
03 Hill City, KS
(Graham County)
6:30pm CST Frontier Stage - 321 E Main St
04 Goodland, KS
(Sherman County)
6:30pm MST Wolak (EMS) Building - 1006 Center St
Contact Information: * Note location change from 2014 *
05 Colby, KS
(Thomas County)
6:30pm CST Community Building Downstairs - 285 E 5th

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