National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
2017 Spotter Training


Scheduling for the 2017 Storm Spotter training season is nearly complete.  Classes will be held in March and 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: 2/14/17

Date Time County City Location
March 2 6:30 p.m. Monroe Fort McCoy, WI Base Personnel Only
March 6 6:30 p.m. Mitchell Osage, IA Osage Fire Station
March 9 7:00 p.m. Clayton Luana, IA Luana Fire Station
March 15 10:00 a.m. ALL Webinar
(For NWS La Crosse
Area Only)
For login info:
Click (email) this link
March 16 6:30 p.m. Wabasha Mazeppa, MN Mazeppa Community Center
278 1st Street
March 21 6:30 p.m. Chickasaw New Hampton, IA New Hampton Rescue Building
260 E.Prospect St.
March 22 6:30 p.m. Dodge Mantorville, MN Mantorville Fire Station
March 23 6:30 p.m. Jackson Black River Falls, WI Ho-Chunk Tribal Office Bldg
W9814 Airport Road
March 27 6:30 p.m. Vernon Viroqua, WI Viroqua Area Schools Cafeteria
March 30 6:30 p.m. Grant Potosi, WI To be determined
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
(not confirmed)
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