NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP — When severe weather strikes, the National Weather Service depends on a number of resources to find how much damage a storm produced. And that includes reports from trained storm spotters across the Upper Peninsula.

Beginning Wednesday, meteorologists from the National Weather Service in Marquette will hold storm spotter training sessions across the U.P. The training session lasts about 90 minutes and covers the responsibilities and duties of a storm spotter. Meteorologist Matt Zika says storm spotters are a very vital part of their operation.

“We have excellent technology in the office using Doppler Radar and some of our other forecasting tools, but until we get those first reports from people on the ground letting us know what actually is occurring, we don’t always know for certain how large the hail is falling from a thunderstorm or tree limbs are falling due to wind,” said Zika. “That’s why we rely very heavily on storm spotter reports.”

Zika added that the development of social media has increased the number of reports and pictures the weather service receives. The first storm spotter training session is Wednesday, April 26th at the Peter White Public Library.

You can find a full list of scheduled training dates by clicking HERE.