The National Weather Service and Lewis and Clark Community College have once again teamed up to offer SKYWARN Severe Weather Spotter training for individuals interested in assisting the National Weather Service during severe weather events.

Seminar emphasis is on training individuals in the local community to properly report wind gusts, hail size, rainfall and cloud formations during such events.

“Trained SKYWARN spotters are a valuable resource for the National Weather Service. Just this
past weekend, the NWS posted on their Facebook page, a ‘thank you’ to SKYWARN spotters for
providing information about precipitation type changes and accumulations during the recent
snow storm event,” said John Nell, assistant director at Lewis and Clark and facilitator for this
program. “NWS forecasters indicated that it aided them in staying abreast of the rapidly
changing weather conditions and helped them fine tune their forecasts.”

This free seminar will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 2 in the Trimpe Advanced Technology Center on the college’s Godfrey campus. A meteorologist from the National Weather Service in St. Louis will conduct the training.

“SKYWARN spotters assist the NWS by reporting what is happening in their backyards,” Nell said. “Doppler radar cannot see everything happening in the atmosphere, so the NWS sometimes needs to rely upon ‘ground truth’ reports to issue severe weather warnings.”

Participants will learn basics of thunderstorm development, fundamentals of storm structures,
identifying potential severe weather features, information and how to report that information to
the NWS and basic severe weather safety.

The program is suitable for weather watchers of all ages, and does not require any prior knowledge of meteorology or weather awareness.

Though training is free, advance registration is requested to assure seating. For more
information or to register, call the Enrollment Center at (618) 468-2222.

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