The National Weather Service (NWS) will be holding a SKYWARN Severe Weather Spotter Training class in Mabel, on Monday, April 22. The training will be held at the Mabel-Canton school starting at 6:30 p.m.

The class will last around two hours and includes a multimedia presentation. Training is intended for storm spotters or potential storm spotters, but is open to the public and free of charge. A review of significant weather that hit the region in 2011 and 2012 will be included.

The NWS relies heavily on actual storm reports from "spotters," which can include sheriff's departments, local emergency management officials, police and fire departments, amateur radio operators, or anyone else that has attended one of these classes. These reports can prompt warnings that save lives, which has been proven many times through the years when severe weather strikes.

Todd Shea, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the weather service in La Crosse organizes the training each year and encourages large groups and active volunteers.

"Accurate and timely reports of severe weather, by trained individuals, not only helps our office, but can save lives in the local community. We always need more eyes to the sky," he said.

Fillmore County, as well as other areas of southeast Minnesota, always needs more "ground-truth" weather reports to pass along to the National Weather Service.

Pre-registration is not needed.