Summer is here and that means a return of the big summer storms. Environment Canada is once again offering the CANWARN Storm Spotter Training.

They'll be holding workshops in Kenora, Dryden and Fort Frances. Meteorologist Geoff Coulson talks more about the program.

"The CANWARN Storm Spotter program began back in the late 80s with the amateur radio community. A way for them to look at the sky, spot severe weather and report that information back to the weather station here in Toronto. Back in 2003 we expanded CANWARN so it's not just the amateur radio community but basically people from all walks of life who are interested in weather," he said.

The workshops will be in Kenora on June 17th with the first from 1-3:30 and the second from 7-9:30 at night. They'll be in Dryden on June 18th at 7 o'clock. Coulson will lead the sessions himself. He explains what a storm spotters job would be during a storm.

"Really it's just a question of paying more attention to the sky and using the websites that we talk about in the training to track weather. If they witness something in their immediate location in terms of big hail, damaging winds, flooding rains or maybe even sighting a funnel cloud or tornado they have access to special email address and phone number to report that back to the weather centre," he said.

Despite all the advancements in technology and radar, Coulson says Environment Canada still needs storm spotter.

"With things like radar, lightning detection systems and satellites we can get a good sense of which storms may be severe in northwestern Ontario but really the final piece of the puzzle is what's happening right at ground level. That's where the storm spotters come into their own. They can let us know if there was damage in the area, they can let us now if hail has occurred, how big that hail was or if there was any flooding," he said.

Anyone looking to register in Dryden can contact Coulson directly at geoff.coulson@ec.gc.ca. People interested in Kenora must get in touch with the local Red Cross by email at kenora@redcross.ca. The information sessions are free to take part in but Coulson is asking people to pre-register.

For more information:
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