As a volunteer firefighter, my dad would always have to go out during storms to be the tornado spotter.  He would get in the firetruck and head to the highest point of our small town with the best vantage point and watch the storm roll in.

I do that now...but it's usually on my front porch or in my garage.

It would be good for everyone to know what to look for though.  He taught me a little bit about how to recognize when a storm would turn into a tornado.  Watching for the clouds to rotate against each other and to keep an eye out for the long funnel clouds that could turn problematic.

If you've ever wanted to know what storm spotters do or how to become one yourself.  There's a free training happening near you or at least online.

According to

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.

These training sessions last about two hours, are free and open to the public.  They say ages 10 and up will get the most of the training and you're welcome to attend any class in any location regardless of where you live.

Pre-registration is required for virtual classes.

Tuesday, March 15
  • 6:30pm
     Spotter Training - Muscatine, Iowa (for Muscatine and Louisa counties)
Wednesday, March 16
  • 6:30pm
     Spotter Training - Kewanee, Illinois
Thursday, March 17
  • 6:00pm
     Spotter Training - Williamsburg, Iowa
  • 6:00pm
     Virtual Spotter Training - NWS Quad Cities
Tuesday, March 29
  • 6:30pm
     Spotter Training - Davenport, Iowa
Thursday, April 7
  • 6:00pm
     Virtual Spotter Training - NWS Quad Cities

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