Understanding & Avoiding Thunderstorms
2-Part Webinar

April 6 & 13, 2021


Thunderstorms can quickly spoil an outing in many ways—strong winds, large waves, dangerous lightning, waterspouts, or visibility-limiting rain. This four-hour seminar presented by Mark Thornton of LakeErieWX Marine Weather will examine the various types of thunderstorms and the ingredients that lead to their formation. The seminar will cover why thunderstorms often ‘pop-up’ late on summer afternoons and why some storms have short life-spans while others persist for several hours. The seminar will also introduce the many readily-available resources for forecasting and monitoring thunderstorms.
The seminar is designed for all boaters (power, sail, and paddlers) who would like to reduce their chances of a hair-raising or windswept encounter with a thunderstorm.
You will learn the following at the seminar:

  • A few 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.
  • The dynamics of lightning and a review of the latest advice on lightning protection for your boat.
  • 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 four-hour live webinar combines classroom instruction, case studies, and exercises to create an engaging learning experience.



Online at the Great Lakes Cruising Club School.

April 6 & 13, 2021

7:30 pm to 9:30 pm Eastern

Price for the series -- $35 GLCC Members, $40 Non-GLCC Members.

Registration: Coming Soon!

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

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.