More storm spotters will be tracking severe weather across Minnesota this year

This year there are more storm spotters to track severe weather across Minnesota.

Due to the pandemic, the National Weather Service was forced to cancel all in-person storm spotter training classes.

Over the last month, it held six online training sessions and had thousands of people take part.

"I was very surprised," National Weather Service Meteorologist Eric Ahasic said. "Several hundred, if not thousands of people, at one point were watching that training we gave. Just by showing people what a wall cloud is, what a funnel cloud is, what a tornado is and what to look for. Hopefully, it’s just that many more people now who will maybe look out there back window today and see one of those cloud features give us a phone call."

National Weather Service officials said the online training classes went so well they plan on doing them again next year.