National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
2018 Spotter Training


Training for the 2018 Storm Spotter season has begun. Our sessions will be held in March and April. Check this on-line schedule often for updates.

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: 2/21/18

Date Time County City Location
March 6 6:30 p.m. Floyd Charles City, IA Zoetis
2000 Rockford Rd
March 8 6:30 p.m. Clayton Volga, IA Fire Station
March 13 6:30 p.m. Houston Hokah, MN Gym - 211 Main St.
March 14 10:00 a.m. All Counties NWS La Crosse
Service Area
On-line Webinar
for information
March 15 7:00 p.m. Winona Winona, MN Winona County Office Bldg
202 W. 3rd Street
March 19 6:30 p.m. Olmsted Rochester, MN Rochester Int'l Event Center
March 20 6:30 p.m. Allamakee Waukon, IA Fire Station
565 11th Ave SW
March 26 7:00 p.m. Fayette Fayette, IA Fire Station
March 27 6:30 p.m. Howard To be determined To be determined
March 29 6:30 p.m. Crawford Seneca, WI Town Hall
21041 Town Hall Rd
April 2 6:30 p.m. Grant Lancaster, WI Lancaster High School
April 3 6:30 p.m. La Crosse La Crosse, WI Marycrest Auditorium (2nd floor)
Mayo Health Center
700 West Ave
April 6 1:00 p.m. All Counties NWS La Crosse
Service Area
On-line Webinar
for information
April 9 6:30 p.m. Juneau Mauston, WI Mauston Public Works Dept.
1240 North Road
April 10 6:30 p.m. Richland Richland Center, WI Coppertop Theatre
April 11 6:30 p.m. Clark Thorp, WI Fire Station
April 16 6:30 p.m. Trempealeau Whitehall, WI Fire Station
April 16 7:00 p.m. All Counties NWS La Crosse
Service Area
On-line Webinar
for information
April 18 6:30 p.m. Monroe To be determined To be determinded
April 19 6:30 p.m. Mower Austin, MN Crane Chapel
1111 9th St NE



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