Just last November a tornado ripped through Washington Indiana.
Doppler radar has increased the warning times by several minutes, reducing the annual death toll and number of injuries.
But the human element is still needed.
"We still need that person on the ground, letting us know what's taking place. We train volunteers to keep an eye on the sky for us and report back to us, so that we can tie that with what we see on radar and help us in the warning process."
Spotter training classes run about two hours. You don't have to be a meteorologist to attend the class.
"You learn a lot about the cloud structures that are tied to severe weather and just as importantly, the radar signatures that are associated with those cloud features that are tied to severe weather."
Potential spotters are not only trained on what to look for, but on how to spot safely.
Indiana Spotter Training
Illinois Spotter Training
Severe Weather Preparedness
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