There are a lot of ongoing weather programs to become a part of (Spotter, mPing, CoCoRaHS). Many are easy, and take just a few minutes. Also, find spring safety information, as well as our Cold Advisory for Newborn Livestock forecast. Read More >
Have you ever wanted to get more involved in the Weather Community? Now is your chance!
There are a lot of ongoing weather programs to become a part of. Many are easy, and take just a few minutes. The information we get from you is priceless. Here are just a few options:
Check out the 2017 Spotter Training Schedule for complete details.
Spotter Training classes are free, typically run a couple of hours, and are available in many communities across central to northeastern South Dakota, and west central Minnesota.
Nationally, there are between 350,000 and 400,000 trained severe weather spotters since the 1970s. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.
Weather spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, with main focus being severe local storms. In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States. These events threatened lives and property. The information provided by weather spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled the NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods.
Storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the Nation's first line of defense against severe weather. There can be no finer reward than to know that their efforts have given communities the precious gift of time--seconds and minutes that can help save lives.
Who is Eligible?
Anyone and everyone! No registration is needed. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter.
mPing (Precipitation Identification Near the Ground) App
This is the one of the quickest and easiest ways to help out! All you do is download the free mPING app from the App Store or Google play. Then you'll be able to quickly report all types of weather that is impacting you (Rain/Snow, Hail, Wind Damage, Tornado, Flood, Mudslide, or Reduced Visibility). Since weather radars can't "see" the ground, public reports of what is happening are extremely important. Check out this link for the latest reports, https://mping.ou.edu/display/
CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network)
Do you already take precipitation measurements on a pretty consistent basis? This may be the perfect way for you to become a part of the weather community.
March marks the start of CoCoRaHS March Madness! Each state competes to see how many new weather observers we can acquire. There is always a need for a greater number of observers. Due to the variability of precipitation, amounts measured can be quite different a block or two away. Help fill the gaps by joining the CoCoRaHS team. The more observations, the clearer the picture, the better the understanding of where it did and did not rain (or snow). Their website is full of training slide shows and videos, to help you accurately measure rain and snow. This information is used daily by the NWS and our many partners! Want to learn more? Check out their webpage at, http://www.cocorahs.org/