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2017 Storm Spotter Class Schedule

Severe weather season is right around the corner so it's time to begin preparing for the possibility of severe storms and their associated hazards.  The first reports of severe weather in the Tri-State area typically occur around late March into early April. In 2016, storm spotters, law enforcement, emergency managers, storm chasers and the public called in a total of 248 hail reports, nearly two dozen tornadoes, 131 high wind reports and over 23 flood events to our office. Reports like these, in real-time as the event unfolds, are invaluable and help our forecasters and radar operators stay on top of the situation.  For many decades, storm spotters have been trained annually and continue to provide vital information about storm severity.  Doppler radar is a great remote-sensing tool allowing our meteorologists to interrogate thunderstorms and assess their strength, but accurate storm reports from spotters play an integral role in determining whether or not a storm is severe. 

NWS meteorologists, storm spotters, local emergency officials, and the media worked as a team to protect lives and property through several notable severe weather events in 2016, including:

  • May 7th Wray, CO Tornado
  • May 24th Yuma County, CO Supercell
  • May 26th Significant Severe Weather Outbreak
  • September 3rd and 4th Flash Flooding
  • September 15th Significant Hail Event

The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Goodland, KS is once again offering storm spotter classes in all 19 counties in the Tri-State area.  The first class of 2017 will be held Tuesday, February 28th in Colby Kansas.  Classes will continue most weekday evenings through March until the final class on Thursday, March 30th in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado.

These interesting and informative classes are open to the public of all ages and are offered free of charge.  If you would like to serve your local community by becoming a volunteer storm spotter, or if you simply want to learn more about severe weather on the High Plains, consider attending one of our classes.  Becoming a storm spotter is not mandatory if you attend a class.  Many folks simply want to learn more about weather on the High Plains.  All classes will last approximately 2 1/4  hours.  Topics will include 2016 severe weather events, severe weather climatology, storm structure and evolution, important cloud types, weather safety, flash flooding, how to report severe weather events and observe precipitation, and how your reports help save lives in your community.

The National Weather Service and county emergency managers have completed the storm spotter class schedule for this year.  Check out the calendar below for the date and location of a spotter talk near you!  Call 785-899-7119 with any questions about spotter classes, content and locations.


Watch time zones on the calendar below! All classes are at 630 pm Local Time!