Skywarn is a proactive spotter network. During severe weather outbreaks, the National Weather Service (NWS) activates Skywarn, and spotters in target areas are notified. SkywarnTM spotters are then asked to relay observances from locations near potential trouble spots. Volunteer ham radio operators staff a station at the weather service office, receive weather information from ham radio operators throughout the region, and forward them to the NWS forecasters..
NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service to join the SKYWARN® program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches and nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter.
Ready to learn more? Find a class in your area on the NWS Skywarn website. Training is free and typically lasts about 2 hours. You’ll learn:
Basics of thunderstorm development
Fundamentals of storm structure
Identifying potential severe weather features
Information to report
How to report information
Basic severe weather safety
Any questions about Skywarn can be directed to Tracey Liston W8TWL.