National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
2017 Spotter Training


Scheduling for the 2017 Storm Spotter training season is complete.  Classes are on-going through late April 2017.  There are also two (2) online webinars available.

There are several on-line storm spotter training modules and reference materials available:

Do you have questions about SKYWARN or becoming a spotter?  Click here for our SKYWARN FAQ page.  Most sessions are open to the general public with no need to pre-register.  All training is free and usually lasts around 2 hours.

Main NWS La Crosse contact for spotter training is Todd Shea, Warning Coordination Meteorologist.

Last Updated: 3/24/17

Date Time County City Location/Attendance
March 2 6:30 p.m. Monroe Fort McCoy, WI 20 people
March 9 7:00 p.m. Clayton Luana, IA 77 people
March 15 10:00 a.m. ALL Webinar 22 people
March 16 6:30 p.m. Wabasha Mazeppa, MN 37 people
March 21 6:30 p.m. Chickasaw New Hampton, IA 48 people
March 22 6:30 p.m. Dodge Mantorville, MN 70 people
March 23 6:30 p.m. Jackson Black River Falls, WI 36 people
March 27 6:30 p.m. Vernon Viroqua, WI Viroqua Area Schools Cafeteria
March 30 2:00 p.m. Grant Sinsinawa, WI Sinsinawa Mound Complex
March 30 6:30 p.m. Grant Potosi, WI Potosi High School Auditorium
128 Hwy US 61
April 4 6:30 p.m. Mitchell Osage, IA Osage Fire Station
April 5 6:30 p.m. Grant Bagley, WI Community Tornado Shelter Bldg
400 Jackley Lane
April 6 6:30 p.m. La Crosse La Crosse, WI Marycrest Auditorium
Mayo Clinic Health System
Franciscan Skemp
700 West Ave S.
April 10 6:30 p.m. Taylor Medford, WI Medford Fire Station
April 11 6:30 p.m. Winneshiek Ossian, IA Ossian Fire Station
April 13 6:30 p.m. Fillmore To be determined To be determined
April 17 6:30 p.m. Adams Adams, WI Community Center
(Room 145B)
April 18 1:00 p.m. ALL Webinar
(For NWS La Crosse
Area Only)
For login info:
Click (email) this link
April 24 6:30 p.m. Olmsted Rochester, MN Rochester International Event Center
(near RST airport)



Surrounding NWS Forecast Office Spotter Schedules:

Outline of the 2017 Presentation

First Half

  • Introduction to Storm Spotting
  • Information about NWS La Crosse
  • The Spotting Process
  • Sources of weather information
  • NWS Information / Outlooks 
  • Spotter deployment 
  • Spotting locations
  • Stages of the thunderstorm (updraft/downdrafts)
  • Thunderstorm Hazards (Flooding, Lightning, Hail)
  • Downbursts
  • Thunderstorm Wind

Second Half

  • Squall Lines / Shelf Clouds (updated!) 
  • Supercells
  • Elements of the Supercell
  • Wall Clouds
  • Tornado definitions and examples
  • Funnel clouds
  • Challenges to spotters
  • Communication
  • Spotter reporting procedures/guidelines
  • Spotter safety