SKYWARN To Offer In-Person Training This Spring


KENYON — Sogn Valley SKYWARN will be offering several opportunities to become certified as a severe storm spotter for the National Weather Service. The training is free, takes about 2 to 3 hours and this year will be available both via webinar (home computer) and also inperson at various locations in Goodhue County.

“The past three years have been a challenge to train volunteer storm spotters because of the pandemic," says Jim Braaten, lead coordinator for the Sogn Valley SKYWARN group. "The uncertainty of not knowing if you could train in-person pushed us into doing only webinar-based sessions the past two years. While some individuals prefer staying home and the convenience of learning online, others seemed to miss the vibe of classroom interaction. So, this year we are offering both learning options."

Anyone with an interest in public service is encouraged to participate as a volunteer storm spotter. The SKWYARN program is a great resource allowing local citizens to get involved bykeeping their communities safe during severe weather events. The more trained eyes spread across the county the better for the early detection and public warning system to work.

NWS certified instructors will teach spotters how to observe and subsequently report severe weather to assist in the weather warning process. Trainees will learn the basics of thunderstorm development, the fundamentals of storm structure, how to identify potential severe weather features, what information to report and how, as well as severe weather safety.

The times and dates for the two online SKYWARN training webinars are:

- Wednesday, March 22 @ 6:30pm H Thursday, March 30 @ 6:30pm

In-person classes will be held in the following cities:

- Cannon Falls (Public Safety Bldg.) on Saturday, April 1, starting at 9:00am

- Red Wing (Emergency Operations Center/LEC) on Tuesday, April 11, at 6:30pm

- Kenyon (First Lutheran Church Basement) on Saturday, April 22, at 9:00am

Registration sign-up links for the online sessions can be found at after March 3.

In-person classes do not require registration, but check the website for any possible changes prior to attending any class. Additional information about Sogn Valley SKYWARN and these upcoming training opportunities is also available by contacting:

Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 17-21, 2023