Free Severe Weather Spotter Course Offered Tonight


There will be a severe thunderstorm spotter training course offered this evening, Tuesday, January 16 at 7 PM in the NIU Holmes Student Center Heritage Room. The class is free and open for everyone. Presentation conducted by NIU staff meteorologist, Gilbert Sebenste.

SKYWARN® is a volunteer program with between 350,000 and 400,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

Spotter training classes cover severe weather hazards including thunderstorms and tornadoes.  This includes the general structure and movement of severe thunderstorms, identification of important storm features, and safety concerns.

Despite the incredible technology that is in place, including the new GOES-16 weather satellite, dual-polar doppler radar systems and more, there’s still only one entity that can accurately determine whether or not a tornado, hail, or high wind is present at ground level: you!

In this training, they’ll show you the basics of thunderstorms, what and where to look for severe weather in and near thunderstorms, and how you can report this in real-time to the National Weather Service, all while keeping you as safe as possible! And while it is still winter, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms can happen at any time… and March is less than two months away!

Please park in the Holmes Student Center parking lot and proceed to the south entrance of the building, and then to the second floor. They’ll provide the training, you just bring yourself. If you have any questions, you may email Gilbert Sibenste here.


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