Recordings of all sessions available 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.

You will learn the following at the webinar:

  • 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.
    • How to 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.

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

Don't worry if you can't attend one of the live sessions. Each session will be recorded and made available to all registered attendees until July 1, 2023.

Click here to print the seminar flyer.


Live Webinar Series

March 15, 22 & 29, 2023

7:00 pm to 8:30 pm Eastern

Price for the series -- $75. (Early bird until February 15, 2023 -- $70)

Please send questions regarding the seminar to Mark Thornton at 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 ( 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 Bayview Mackinac Race since 2014. Mark is also employed as a Teaching Assistant in the Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting Program at Penn State University.