Marine News from the Great Lakes

Take A Class To Understand And Avoid Great Lakes Thunderstorms

Published: Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Thunderstorms can spoil an outing in many ways with strong winds, large waves, dangerous lightning, waterspouts, or visibility-limiting rain. This four-hour seminar will introduce the types of thunderstorms and the ingredients that lead to their formation. We will examine why thunderstorms often ‘pop-up’ late on summer afternoons and why some storms have short life-spans while others persist for several hours. Several readily-available resources for forecasting and monitoring thunderstorm development will also be reviewed.

Understanding & Avoiding Thunderstorms is designed for anyone who enjoys boating in the Great Lakes region and who would like to reduce their chances of a hair-raising or windswept encounter with a thunderstorm.

What you can expect to learn at the seminar:

  • Some basic weather principles
  • How to decode the confusing symbols, color shading, and meteorological shorthand on weather forecast maps.
  • How to recognize the large and small-scale weather patterns that promote thunderstorm development.
  • The ingredients needed for thunderstorm development and their life cycle
  • How to forecast the potential and nature of severe weather.
  • How to use Doppler Weather Radar to assess the development, monitor the evolution, and track the movement of thunderstorms.
  • The terminology used by the National Weather Service during hazardous and severe weather events.

The seminar combines traditional classroom instruction, case studies and exercises to create an engaging learning experience.

Reserve your spot at the Chicago Boat Show on January 11 (1p-5p) or at The Foundry in Cleveland on February 22 (9a-1p) by visiting


This article first appeared in the Winter Issue (Jan/Feb) 2020 of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt magazine.

tags: Boating 101, Education

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