Metro Skywarn Training Program
Every three years Todd Krause and his colleagues at the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen, train volunteer instructors with all new material. The instructors commit to train at least three classes every three years. MSW trains about 1200 Radio Amateurs every two years. The spotter training program runs from March to May every year. The Class Schedule comes out every February. The NWS brings its weather knowledge and access to exciting and instructive video footage and slides. The local Amateur Radio organizations bring their expertise in emergency communications. The result is a four hour video and slide presentation.
Net operations rely upon a high degree of independence from spotters. Spotters are trained about Basic Storm Structure and the sequence of events of an Approaching Severe Thunderstorm, to place themselves safely near severe weather and how to report into the net. Special emphasis is placed on training the spotter how to differentiate severe weather from weather easily confused with severe weather with a specially prepared video and slide presentation. Many useful Weather Terms are learned to facilitate communication on the net.
To qualify, radio amateurs must pass a multiple choice test every two years. Spotters are expected to monitor severe weather potential and activate themselves as needed and available and place themselves at useful locations. Reports are requested from anyone seeing severe weather. Updates from the NWS about current conditions are repeated or updated every ten minutes. Occasionally, the NWS will request information from a specific location or regarding specific conditions.