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National Weather Service Spotter Training Classes announced for 2020


The National Weather Service has announced the locations of classes for their severe weather Skywarn spotter training classes, which teach what to look for in clouds to determine what type of severe weather is coming and which direction it's traveling.

Stormtracker 18 Meteorologists say this is a great class for not only anyone looking to become a trained weather spotter, but also for anyone who is scared of severe weather and thunderstorms as this class can give you a better understanding of how they work and where to stay up to date with warnings.

The earliest class in Western Wisconsin is in Whitehall on March 4 at the fire department.

Then there are three classes on Tuesday, March 31. The earliest is at Altoona Fire Department at 3pm, then one in Mondovi starts at 6:30 p.m., and finally the annual Eau Claire class at CVTC Energy Education Center at 7 p.m.

The full list of classes currently scheduled are:

Mar. 4- Whitehall at 6:30 p.m. at the Fire Department

Mar. 26- Township of Wilson at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Hall in Winona County, MN

Mar. 31- Altoona at 3 p.m. at the Fire Department

Mar. 31- Mondovi at 6:30 p.m. at the Roger Martin Community Center

Mar. 31- Eau Claire at 7 p.m. at CVTC Energy Education Center's Commons Room

Apr. 1- Sheldon (Rusk County) at 6 p.m. at the Community Center

Apr. 2- Ladysmith at 6 p.m. at the Fire Hall

Apr. 15- Fort McCoy at 6:30 p.m. at the Whitetail Ridge Ski Chalet

Apr. 20- Loyal at 6:30 p.m. at the Fire Department

Apr. 21- Augusta at 6:30 p.m. at Augusta Memorial Public Library.

Addresses can be found in the attached graphic.

More classes could be added in the future, but this is the current list for all classes in WQOW TV's 14 county coverage area. Click here for all of NWS Twin Cities' locations, and here for NWS La Crosse.

Matt Schaefer

Matt Schaefer was promoted to Chief Meteorologist in July of 2019 and has been our evening meteorologist for News 18 since June of 2016. Prior to that, he was our Saturday meteorologist starting in September 2014.

Matt was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He enjoys all the extremes that mother nature throws at the Badger State: from severe thunderstorms to blizzards to subzero temperatures.

Matt studied meteorology in the Midwest as well, earning his Bachelor’s of Science in Meteorology at Valparaiso University in Indiana. There, Matt was heavily involved in VUTV Weather, the Valpo student chapter of AMS/NWA, and VUSIT (Valparaiso University Storm Intercept Team). He’s logged more than 20,000 miles chasing and studying severe storms all across the country and witnessed nine tornadoes including six in one day!

Matt describes himself as a Wisconsin boy at heart and enjoys cheering for the Packers, Brewers, Badgers, and Admirals just to name a few. He loves simply being outdoors and enjoys the Wisconsin wilderness especially in fall, and whitetail deer season!

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