In two weeks, tornado and severe weather awareness week in Wisconsin will officially begin, and the National Weather Service in Green Bay needs your help.
The weather radio is an important source for weather information during the spring and summer months, but another important source is you.
“Our storm spotters range from law enforcement, fire department personnel, to average citizens, people who want to know more about severe weather and helping to keep their community safe,” said Jeff Last, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Green Bay.
Day to day, the NWS relies on reliable weather reports from the public.
For the next month, they are going to hold various training sessions around northeast Wisconsin so people can learn how to become weather spotters.
“We give them all the information they need to watch the weather,” said Last.
To qualify to be an official storm spotter, you don’t need a degree in meteorology, or have fancy equipment at home.
All you need is to be as least 14 years of age, and some training to be able to accurately observe and communicate the weather to meteorologists such as hail, winds, rain, and snowfall in winter.
Training can either be in-person with a meteorologist (public sessions listed below), or you can take the training online. Click here to take the online course.
Any weather, any time of the year, especially during the spring and summer months.
“It’s critical information when severe weather threatens,” said Last.
That’s because the equipment and dopplar radar can only go so far, and the National Weather Service needs the public to fill those gaps.
Last said, “We rely on the eyes and ears of the local community to tell us what’s happening in their backyard, so that ground truth is critical to updating a warning or issuing a warning as storms approach.”
There are nine in-person training sessions left this spring: