Storm Spotter Training Thursday Night in Decorah

Storm spotter training will be held Thursday, April 7 at 6:30 pm in Decorah at the Decorah Fire Station. Training is free and open to the public and lasts about 2 hours. Topics covered are listed below.


First Half

  • Information about NWS La Crosse
  • Importance of storm spotters
  • Sources of weather information
  • NWS outlooks / watches / warnings
  • Spotter activation
  • Thunderstorm basics: ingredients, formation, life cycle, types
  • Squall lines / shelf clouds
  • Supercells
  • Hail
  • Damaging winds: downbursts, bow echoes, derechos
  • Flooding
  • Lightning

Second Half

  • Wall clouds
  • Funnel clouds
  • Tornadoes
  • Storm spotting challenges
  • Spotter reporting procedures & guidelines
  • Spotter safety
  • Interactive quiz


There are also several on-line storm spotter training modules and reference materials available: