Understanding & Avoiding Thunderstorms - Chesapeake Bay

Wednesday, 15 March 2023 7:00 PM - Wednesday, 29 March 2023 8:00 PM EDT

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Wednesday, 15 March 2023 7:00 PM - Wednesday, 29 March 2023 8:00 PM EDT

All sessions will be recorded. Registration includes access to the recordings until July 1, 2023.


Thunderstorms can quickly spoil an outing in many ways—strong winds, large waves, dangerous lightning, hail, or visibility-limiting rain. This 3-part live webinar series will examine the various types of thunderstorms and the ingredients that lead to their formation. The webinar 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 webinar will also introduce the many readily-available resources for forecasting and monitoring thunderstorms.

The webinar is designed for all boaters who would like to reduce their chances of a hair-raising or windswept encounter with a thunderstorm.


The live webinar combines classroom instruction, case studies, and pop quizzes to create an engaging learning experience.




March 15, 2023

  • A few basic weather principles
  • How to decode the confusing symbols, color shading, and meteorological shorthand on weather forecast maps.
  • How to use Doppler Weather Radar to assess the development, monitor the evolution, and track the movement of thunderstorms.

March 22, 2023

  • The different types of thunderstorms.
  • The conditions that lead to thunderstorm development and their life-cycle.
  • How to recognize the large and small-scale weather patterns that promote thunderstorm development.
  • The dynamics that lead to damaging downdrafts and lightning.

March 29, 2023

  • How to forecast the potential and nature of severe weather.
  • Integrate your knowledge of thunderstorm development and radar interpretation skills by reviewing several non-severe and severe historical weather events.
  • The terminology used by the National Weather Service during hazardous and severe weather events.





LakeErieWX Marine Weather


Mark Thornton has been sailing on the Great Lakes for more than 30 years. He 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. His company, LakeErieWX LLC, provides marine weather education and forecasting resources to recreational boaters. Mark has served as the Race Meteorologist for the Bayview Mackinac Race since 2014. He is also an instructor at Cruisers University - Annapolis Boat Shows.

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Sessions on Mar 29, 2023

07:00 PM

Understanding & Avoiding Thunderstorms-Chesapeake Bay (Week 3)

07:00 PM - 09:00 PM