The National Weather Service storm spotter training for 2013 will not include a class in Washington County. The agency relies on certified storm spotters to help track weather and to get reliable eyewitness reports of local conditions. The Quad Cities office has scheduled far fewer classes for the region this year. Compared with this year, nearly five times more classes were held a year ago with more than 30 in the spring of 2012.
But any of this year’s seven scheduled classes are open to anyone, regardless of their county of residence. The three locations nearest to Washington with the closest being at the Coralville Public Library on February 28th, the others are about the same distance to travel to. One is in Marion, which is on the north side of Cedar Rapids. That class will be February 23. The other location is Ottumwa at the Indian Hills Community College. That class will be April 2.
The spotter training involves explanations of storm systems and damage reporting. They also usually include video presentations of powerful storms. No pre-registration is needed, and the classes are free.