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You hear meteorologists talk about "storm spotters" and it sounds kinda cool, right? You get to be a part of the weather reporting system, you get to help people be safe, and you love weather stuff. If you really want to do it, now's your chance.

Being a SKYWARN Storm Spotter starts with attending Storm Spotter Classes and this year it'll be conducted virtually. See the dates here. You have to be 18 or over to be a storm spotter, but if you want to bring your mature but younger kids along, you're welcome to.

2021 SKYWARN Storm Spotter Classes:

  • March 11 6:30 p.m.
  • March 16 6:30 p.m.
  • March 22 10:00 a.m.
  • April 1 1:00 p.m.
  • April 7 6:30 p.m.
  • April 15 10:00 a.m.
  • April 20 6:30 p.m.


National Weather Service - La Crosse
National Weather Service - La Crosse

Quick Questions:

What is SKYWARN? SKYWARN is the volunteer program of storm spotters that relay real-time weather information to the National Weather Service.

Who can be a spotter? Anyone. A lot of time it's volunteer fire departments, law enforcement, and amateur radio operators, but individual spotters can still participate.

Why does the NWS need storm spotters? The National Weather Service is responsible for issuing severe weather warnings and the technology they have is great, but there's no substitute for real-time reports from what the storm is actually doing makes.

Is there a cost for the training? No.

How long is a typical training class? Usually two hours or less.

Will I get paid for being a spotter? No.

Will I get to chase storms or become a storm chaser? Not really. SKYWARN is a storm spotter program. Spotters typically monitor storms in their local area and report real-time conditions back to the National Weather Service.

Can I storm spot from home? You bet!

You'll find more questions and answers here.

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

Listen to James Rabe and Jessica Williams Weekday from 6 - 10 AM on Y-105 FM

If you're going to be a storm spotter, maybe you'll need a pet that can help you spot storms!

KEEP READING: 10 Animals in Minnesota That Can Predict the Weather

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