Virtual Skywarn training sessions scheduled for April

Times Report
Crookston Times

    Polk County Emergency Management, in conjunction with the National Weather Service, will conduct virtual Skywarn training sessions in April. These training sessions are beneficial for those who simply wish to become better informed, as well as those who want to be designated storm spotters.

    The virtual sessions are free of charge, are open to the public and will be conducted by a Warning Coordination Meteorologist from the National Weather Service.

    Individuals are taught the basics of thunderstorm development, storm structure, what constitutes severe weather, and how to report this information. Additional information on severe weather safety is also covered.

    “Every county in the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota can expect to see at least one tornado, on average, every year – and some years can see multiple such events!” said the session announcement. “Every year there will be at least one devastating tornado (EF3 or greater) within a hundred miles your location.  Large hail and damaging downburst wind events are even more frequent.”

    This year there are eight scheduled virtual hour-long training sessions throughout the month of April and all are intended to be a SkyWarn Quick Refresher.  Sessions are planned for Monday evenings from 7-8 p.m. April 5, 12, 19, and 26, plus Tuesday afternoons from 2-3 p.m. April 6, 13, 20, and 27.

    This SkyWarn Spotter Quick Refresh Class is designed as both an informational class for the general public, and certification training for the serious SkyWarn Spotter.  The class covers in basic terms what severe weather is, how it develops, and how severe storms generally behave.  Computer graphics, slides and video clips will introduce the participants to the great variety of storm phenomena which affect the area.

    To sign up for a virtual class, visit

    If you have any questions, contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office – Emergency Management Department at 218-470-8263, 218-470-8290, or by emailing or