We've already had a taste of what's to come.

That end of February storm we just had brought in high winds, heavy downpours, and spawned at least 2 confirmed tornadoes, one in Grand Blanc and the other in Calhoun County. And it's not even spring storm season yet!

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Each year the National Weather Service (NWS) offers free training courses to area residents to help assist with severe weather spotting and reporting throughout the spring storm season and 2024 registration is upon us.

As you can imagine recording data about weather conditions is very important as it can help authorities track and predict weather cycles. Because it's impossible for NWS officials to be in multiple places at the same time, each year they ask for volunteers across the state to assist in the data gathering process.

I took a similar course when I was living out in Nebraska-- where they get real tornadoes-- and I encourage folks to do the same because not only is the course/training free but it also helps keep Michigan's historic weather data accurate and it can help you better protect your family in case of a severe weather emergency.

Weather Training Courses

Anyone can be a severe weather spotter with the NWS provided you are able to report using their specified criteria, that's why the NWS offers a free training course to help you better understand the data recording process. As part of the free training you will learn:

  • How to safely spot and report during various severe weather conditions
  • The criteria for reporting
  • The seven required pieces of information needed to make a spotter report

This year both virtual and in-person courses are available and you only need to take one course. In Southwest Michigan the in-person spotter course is offered in St. Joseph County on March 14, 2024.

Find details on registration and virtual training sessions here.

2024 Michigan County By County Tornado Risk Projections

Roof Gnome, using FEMA data and analyzing nearly 950 counties throughout the United States at moderate to high risk for tornados, was able to rank 34 Michigan counties for storm risks in 2024 and projected financial impact. Here's a county-by-county look at Michigan's Tornano Vulnerability.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

These Are The 10 Deadliest Tornadoes In Michigan's History

Here are some of the worst cases of tornadoes in Michigan’s history as the Lansing State Journal documents on their map

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