Severe storm spotters are a VITAL part of the warning process! Spotters provide critical, potentially live saving information to their communities and surrounding locations - and to NWS forecasters who are using the reports to help issue warnings and keep the public updated during severe weather events.
The NWS in Lincoln, IL provides spotter training classes between late February and early April.
Anyone with an interest is welcome to attend a spotter class. Children (under the age of 18) are welcome to attend the class, however, they will not be considered official spotters. There is no cost for this training - just 2 to 3 hours of your time for the class.
The spotter training class is designed for people new to severe storm spotting, as well as those that need refresher training. The training is comprised of all of the information that spotters need to be effective and stay safe.
Tornado near Champaign, IL Roll Cloud north of Lincoln NWS office
Photo by Eric Sebens 05/01/12 Photo by NWS Lincoln 09/07/12
Topics covered in the spotter training class include:
On-site storm spotter training classes are typically held between late-February and early April in central and eastern Illinois.
Outside of this timeframe, please check the "Spotter Resources" below.
1) Online Spotter Training Classes (through UCAR MetEd)
There is NO COST to take the two classes which make up this training: "Role of the SKYWARN Spotter" and "SKYWARN Spotter Convective Basics".
All you need is a login account & password on the MetEd web page.
Important Note: You are still HIGHLY encouraged to attend a spotter training class in or near your area to learn about local effects and local reporting procedures. These online classes are intended as either a brief introduction to severe storm spotting OR as a refresher for spotters who have attended a class in the last few years.
2) Additional Resources for Storm Spotters
Note: Utilizing these items does NOT make you a trained spotter. These are intended as resource material only. If you have an interest in storm spotting please attend a spotter class in your area.
From the Storm Prediction Center:
I) How to Make a Report
If you observe severe weather in central or southeast Illinois, please make a report as safely & as soon as possible to one of the following locations:
II) What to report
c. Greater than 70 mph – heavy damage to structures such as roofing torn off, power poles snapped, trailers overturned, large trees blown over.
5. Large Hail (1.00" or greater in diameter)
6. Lightning Damage
a. Injuries or fatalities due to a lightning strike
b. Property damage due to a lightning strike
More Information / Questions?
If you have any questions about spotter training classes in central or southeast Illinois contact Warning Coordination Meteorologist Chris Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org