How To Be An Iowa Storm Spotter
We've all watched the movie Twister and suddenly got the urge to become storm chasers, right?
Well, it turns out that it's actually Severe Weather Awareness Week and if you're looking to chase some awesome storms, do I have an idea for you. While this is not an official "storm chasing" certification this could be the next best thing, especially in Northeastern Iowa. It's pretty simple to be a storm spotter in Iowa.
From what I understand this isn't "storm chasing" per say, but it's actually "storm spotting." I know! I know! It's sounds incredibly boring at first, but it's not! A storm spotter actually provides real-time data and information about major weather occurrences to the National Weather Service.
This program is open to anyone, but people who volunteer to do this are in law enforcement or the fire department. The NWS and local officials are the people behind the spotter training courses, and every spring they hold several of them all over Iowa. This class includes an approximately hour long presentation that will cover various weather topics such as: spotter safety, Iowa severe weather, and how to report severe weather.
If you are an Iowa resident then you can sign up for this online program here. Usually these events are held in person, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic these will be all held virtually. There is both a basic spotter training course and an advanced spotter training course. Currently there are five of these basic classes and only one advanced class.
A little bit of a bonus...the classes are free!