Getting trained on how to storm spot could save lives

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 10:30 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – On Wednesday evening, first responders, truck drivers, weather enthusiasts and members of the general public gathered at the Empire Event Center for the Olmsted County spotter training hosted by the National Weather Service (NWS).

Spotter training classes are offered in the spring, usually in March and April.

During the two-hour long spotter training, the NWS warning coordination meteorologist, Mike Kurz, from La Crosse presented attendees with different techniques for severe weather spotting, spotter safety, and how to report information back to the NWS. Local protocols and preferences used by the NSW were also taught at the event.

In these classes, attendees are taught how to identify thunderstorm and tornadic cloud features. Attendees are also taught how to remain safe while storm spotting.

“There’s no more fail-safe tool that we have at our disposal, than the human eyes and ears that can report to us what it is that they’re seeing and hearing in their location. Radar doesn’t give us the entire story all the time, so spotters are crucial,” Kurz explained.

If you missed Wednesday’s training, there are more trainings happening across the area over the next few weeks. A list of spotter trainings across the area can be found here.