March 2017
Mercy to host severe weather spotter training program

Do you always keep an eye on the sky, looking for the next change in weather? Well, you can make it official by becoming a Skywarn spotter for the National Weather Service. Mercy Hospital will be hosting two free trainings for interested volunteers and/or weather enthusiasts.


The 90-minute program will be held at 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 30 or at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, in Mercy’s Education Classroom. Anyone can become a Skywarn spotter for the National Weather Service. No special equipment is needed. 


The National Weather Service’s Skywarn program provides training to volunteers in the detection and reporting of life-threatening thunderstorms--those that contain large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes. There are about 2,000 Skywarn spotters across northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin reporting to the Duluth National Weather Service.


The Skywarn training course covers the following topics:

  • The mission of the National Weather Service and how Skywarn spotters play an important role in the warning process.


  • Thunderstorm formation and the types of thunderstorms. We’ll study the meteorological dynamics involved in thunderstorm production and what it takes for a storm to produce damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes.


  • Thunderstorm detection- signs that spotters can look for in spotting severe weather. This includes types of clouds associated with severe weather, funnels, rotation.


  • Procedures for reporting information to the National Weather Service.


  • Thunderstorm and tornado safety.


Interested persons are asked to pre-register for the free program by calling Mercy at 218.485.5618 or by emailing Laura Majcin, Education Manager, at


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