What is SkyWarn?

The effects of severe weather are felt every year by many Americans. To obtain critical weather information, NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, established SKYWARN™ with partner organizations. SKYWARN™ is a volunteer program with nearly 290,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

Skywarn™ is a nationwide network of volunteer weather spotters who report to, and are trained by NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS). These spotters report many forms of significant or severe weather such as Severe Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Hail, Heavy Snow, and Flooding. The staff at each NWS Forecast Office is responsible for issuing local forecasts and Severe Weather Warning services for the county warning forecast area. Skywarn™ Spotters provide an invaluable service by providing ground truth on the atmosphere we observe from advanced radars, satellites and reporting stations. These spotters act as eyes and ears to the National Weather Service helping to provide better forecasts and severe weather warnings.

How do I Join?

Joining is easy. All that is required is for you to attend a 2 hour training session put on by the National Weather Service. The training courses are usually offered in the early spring time. Upcoming sessions are announced on our web site. Skywarn reports can be relayed from whatever your location may be, whether that’s at your office, on the road or in your neighborhood. Information is relayed to the NWS via several outlets which include online reporting through E-Spotter, dialing a toll-free telephone number and with volunteer amateur radio operators.

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