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National Weather Service | Spotter Classes

Mar 07, 2011
Each year the National Weather Service (NWS) offers spotter classes for the general public to attend and learn about severe weather. I believe these classes are beneficial for educating yourself and how you can help the NWS with reporting dangerous weather.

The NWS Doppler Radar is a valuable asset for detecting severe weather and especially tornadoes. However, the radar can't see what's going on at ground level known as "ground truth". This is where storm spotters come in handy. Without these classes the NWS faces the prospect of the general public relaying false reports that can trigger warnings that indicate no tornado.

From my experience I have been to three spotter classes and it's really useful to go back each year and get a refresher before severe weather season goes into full swing. Last night I attended my first "advanced" spotter class to see what the difference is between the basic class verses the advanced class. While very similar, the advanced class went in detail regarding supercell structure and radar interpretation of different storms. I recommend anyone to take a basic class to help you digest what you may be looking at when severe weather comes rolling in! The classes run for about 2 hours.

NWS Spotter Class for Southeast Wisconsin:

Here is the schedule for the NWS Milwaukee/Sullivan


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