Understanding & Avoiding Thunderstorms

February 22, 2020


Thunderstorms can spoil an outing in many ways—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 – sailors, powerboaters, kayakers, or rowers – 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.  

Click here to download the seminar flyer.


The Foundry

1831 Columbus Road

Cleveland, Ohio 44113

February 22, 2020

9:00 am to 1:00 pm


Registration: : $25. Register online (click here) or Call Cathy Newpher at 216.413.3945.

Please send questions regarding the seminar to Mark Thornton at Mark@LakeErieWX.com. Please click here to view the speaker's resume.

About The Presenter

Mark Thornton has been sailing for more than 25 years and currently owns Osprey, a C&C 35. His interest in weather forecasting grew from his experiences cruising and racing on the Great Lakes. Mark is a 2006 graduate of the Penn State University Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting, a two-year program that develops skills in general, tropical, and severe weather forecasting.

He is the president of LakeErieWX LLC, a company dedicated to providing marine weather education and forecasting resources for recreational boaters (www.lakeeriewx.com). Mark publishes a marine weather blog and teaches basic forecasting seminars to recreational boaters during the off-season. He has served as the Race Meteorologist for the Bell’s Beer Bayview Race to Mackinac since 2014. Mark is also employed as a Teaching Assistant in the Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting Program at Penn State University.