Virtual storm spotter training sessions begin Monday Featured

Severe weather episodes across Kansas were isolated last year with only 17 tornadoes reported. This particular thunderstorm in northwest Lyon County was responsible for two of those twisters in mid-May. Severe weather episodes across Kansas were isolated last year with only 17 tornadoes reported. This particular thunderstorm in northwest Lyon County was responsible for two of those twisters in mid-May. KVOE News file photo

Now that the coldest air in decades has dissipated, it's time -- believe it or not -- to start thinking about the traditional severe weather season coming up.


The National Weather Service is changing its approach to the longstanding spotter training sessions, which are done in person under non-COVID circumstances. Meteorologist Chad Omitt with the Topeka forecast office says much of the information will be similar to years past, even though the presentations will be different.

Sessions begin Monday for the Topeka office and March 2 for the Wichita office. Residents in the Topeka coverage area -- Lyon, Coffey, Morris, Osage and Wabaunsee counties -- can register for the roughly 75-minute sessions by going online to https://www.weather.gov/top/spottertalks. Registration for residents in the Wichita coverage area, or Chase and Greenwood counties, can currently be done by going online to www.weather.gov/ict and then clicking on the Storm Fury on the Plains link.

The schedule is being announced as the annual Severe Weather Awareness Week is taking place March 1-5.

Projections for the upcoming tornado season are almost impossible at this stage, but it will be hard for this year's season to be as quiet as last year's was. There were only 17 confirmed tornadoes across Kansas last year, including two twisters in far northwest Lyon County and one near Council Grove in the KVOE listening area. All three were given ratings of EF-U for lack of damage.

Whenever severe weather is possible or underway, stay with KVOE and KVOE.com for instant information. As has been the case for years, KVOE will rely on its Storm Team network of volunteer spotters to give "ground truth" information.


Spotter training session schedule -- NWS Topeka office

(All sessions online at 7 pm)

*Feb. 23
*Feb. 25
*March 4
*March 11
*March 18
*March 23
*March 25

Spotter training session schedule -- NWS Wichita office

*March 2, 6:30 pm
*March 4, 1 pm
*March 10, 6:30 pm
*March 23, 6:30 pm
*March 25, 1 pm
*March 29, 6:30 pm

**-Registration links are used if applicable

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