People train to be storm spotters in Eau Claire

(WEAU) - With tornado season not far off here in western Wisconsin, people gathered Tuesday night to become trained weather spotters.

The National Weather Service, Eau Claire County Emergency Management, and the Eau Claire chapters of the Amateur Radio Emergency Services and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services hosted the free event.

The instructor of the class says the spotters will play a big role with their new warning system. NWS Meteorologist Jacob Beitlich told us "I think these classes are really important, especially this year because we're starting the impact based warning project. So that puts more detail in the warnings that we issue and it all starts with our spotters sending in reports of what's occurring on the ground. So that ground truth is really important this year."

Spotters have to take a class like this one once every two years to stay up-to-date with their training.