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Virtual storm spotter training sessions start March 17

Virtual classes for storm spotters in West Michigan start on March 17 with multiple sessions open to the public. Here's what you need to know!

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spring is on the way to West Michigan, and that means springtime storms will soon be on the way as well! Along with those storms will come the possibility of strong to severe weather across the region. 

While technology has made forecasting severe weather much easier than it used to be, there are still some things that you need good old fashioned manpower to take on. Primarily, filling in the gap between what weather radar can see up in the clouds and what is actually making it down to ground level. 

That is where the role of a storm spotter comes in. 

A storm spotter is not someone who goes out and chases storms, but rather reports what is happening on the ground at their location during and after a storm moves through. This can include anything from rainfall totals, to severe weather and storm damage, or even the lack of significant weather happening from a warned storm. 

Learning exactly what and how to report weather events as a storm spotter is something anyone can learn, but you do need to attend a training session. These are free to attend, and are usually done in person, but thanks to social distancing procedures will take place virtually this year. 

Sessions last around one hour with a recommended age of 14 or older to attend. Registration is required and can be done by clicking here.

Sessions will be held on the following dates and times. Each session will cover the same material, with a historical focus on the areas listed next to the date. 

  • 7 p.m. — Thursday, March 17 — All of Southwest and South Central Lower Michigan

  • 7 p.m. — Friday, March 18 — Grand Rapids/Holland Area

  • 7 p.m. — Tuesday, March 29 — Battle Creek/Kalamazoo Area

  • 7 p.m. — Wednesday, March 30 — Lansing/Jackson Area

Finally, we here at 13 ON YOUR SIDE also rely on members of our community for reports during times of severe weather. If you ever have storm reports, photos, or videos of severe weather that you would like to share you can do so by emailing them to news@13onyourside.com. 

-- Meteorologist Michael Behrens

Follow me on social media! Facebook Meteorologist Michael Behrens, Twitter @MikeBehrensWX, and Instagram @MikeBehrensWX

Email me at: MBehrens@13OnYourSide.com

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