200+ train to be weather spotters through National Weather Service

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(ABC 6 News) – Wednesday night, more than 200 people attended a storm spotter training class in Rochester hosted by the National Weather Service La Crosse.

This class is one of several in the coming weeks and it comes just in time as severe weather is expected in Northern Iowa later this week.

Weather experts rely on weather spotters to help be the eyes and ears in the field during severe weather.
24-year-old Colby Jensen, from Oronoco, says he has been tracking tornadoes since he was 12. Through his experience, he has learned that severe weather seasons should be taken seriously.

“If you have a tornado warning, don’t just walk it off. Make sure you get to your safe place immediately,” Jensen explained.

The training walks you through what to report and what not to report back during the storm tracking process. The National Weather Service says they want to build a “weather-ready nation” – one community at a time.

“We’ve got increasing populations that are becoming bigger targets….vulnerable areas that are targets for severe weather and flooding events. So we want everyone to be aware and to be ready,” said Mike Kurz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service La Crosse.

There are 9 more storm spotter trainings. These classes are open to the public.

National Weather Service – La Crosse

  • Rochester, MN – Wednesday, March 29th @ 6:30 PM – Empire Events Center
  • Charles City, IA – Tuesday, April 4th @ 6:30 PM – Zoetis Auditorium
  • Mabel, MN – Monday, April 10th @ 6:30 PM – Mabel City Hall
  • Cresco, IA – Tuesday, April 11th @ 6:30 PM – Howard County Fairgrounds
  • VIRTUAL CLASS – Wednesday, April 12th @ 6:30 PM – Registration link
  • Dodge Center, MN – Tuesday, April 18th @ 6:30 PM – Triton High School
  • VIRTUAL CLASS – Tuesday, April 25th @ 1:30 PM – Registration link

National Weather Service – Twin Cities

  • Kenyon, MN – Saturday, April 22nd @ 8 AM – 1st Lutheran Church
  • Albert Lea, MN – Tuesday, April 27th @ 6 PM – Location TBD

National Weather Service – Des Moines

  • Mason City, IA – Tuesday, April 4th @ 6:30 PM – Beem Center Forum