Godfrey, Ill. – 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.


“Anyone can call in hail sizes, but SKYWARN spotters are trained to report hail sizes in terms of coin money size, not marbles, since marbles come in many different sizes and the size of the hail is an important indicator of a thunderstorm's life cycle for potential damage,” said John Nell, assistant director at Lewis and Clark and facilitator for this program.


This free seminar will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 19 on the college’s Godfrey campus. The training will be conducted by a meteorologist from the National Weather  Service in St. Louis.

“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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