2021 Spotter Training Schedule


Classes are free, open to the public, and require registration via the links provided in each course description.Each class lasts about 2 hours and is led by a National Weather Service meteorologists
who will discuss techniques and safety for severe weather spotting. Once you attend a class,
you will receive instructions for filling out online registration forms to officially become
a trained spotter and can report severe weather to your NWS office.At this time, there are no in-person spotter training courses scheduled for the 2021 spring season.

Thursday, March 4th, 7:00-9:00 PM

Monday, March 8th, 6:00-8:00 PM

Tuesday, March 23rd, 6:00-8:00 PM

Saturday, March 27th, 12:00-2:00 PM

Click here for training schedule National Weather Service

Skywarn® and the Skywarn® logo are registered trademarks of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, used with permission.

NWS SKYWARN Storm Spotter Program

In most years, thunderstorms, tornadoes and lightning cause hundreds of injuries and deaths and billions in property and crop damages.  To obtain critical weather information, the National Weather Service

(NWS) established SKYWARN® with partner organizations. SKYWARN® is a volunteer program with between 350,000 and 400,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local comm

unities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

Although SKYWARN® spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, the focus is reporting on severe local thunderstorms. In an average year, the United States experiences more than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes.

Since the program started in the 1970s, the information provided by SKYWARN® spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods. SKYWARN® storm spotters form the nation’s first line of defense against severe weather. There can be no finer reward than t

o know that your efforts have given your family and neighbors the precious gift of time–minutes that can help save lives.

Who is eligible and how do I get started?

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 encouraged to become a spotter. Ready to learn more? Find a class in your area. 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

Need help with your Spotter Number or other local information such as a missing class schedule? If you need help finding your spotter number or a class schedule, contact your local Warning Coordination Meteorologist.  He or she can help you get, find or replace your spotter information and let you know about upcoming classes. Classes typically are held in an office’s relatively slow season.  Classes are NOT typically offered all year.  Schedules vary from office to office.

Looking for our online program? You also can also take our free online spotter program.  Some offices also ask that you take a local class to learn about weather unique to your area.

NWS Link

Skywarn® and the Skywarn® logo are registered trademarks of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, used with permission

Skywarn Introduction


What is Skywarn®?
The Skywarn® spotter program is a nationwide network of volunteers trained by the National Weather Service (NWS) to report significant weather. Anyone is welcome to participate.
Why have Skywarn®?
The NWS staff at the Wilmington Ohio forecast office is responsible for issuing warnings for the southwest half of Ohio, southeast and east central Indiana, and much of northern Kentucky. The NWS has wonderful observing systems, such as radar, satellite, and surface observing systems. However, all of these systems have limitations. Skywarn® volunteers provide critical information that helps mitigate the limitations of our observing systems. The information observed and collected by Skywarn® spotters helps the NWS issue more timely watches and warnings. This helps the NWS staff fulfill the mission of “protecting life and property.”
When will Skywarn® function?
Information relayed to the National Weather Service during tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, snow storms, flooding, and any other weather event that involves the use of volunteer storm spotters.
Who will activate Skywarn®?
The NWS office and/or emergency management authorities may activate the Skywarn® amateur radio nets whenever there is a threat of severe weather, or if a severe thunderstorm watch, tornado watch, or flood watch has been issued. In this case, information will be relayed through our amateur radio repeater. Skywarn® spotters who do not use amateur radio should call in severe weather reports to the NWS office whenever they are observed.
Where will Skywarn® observations be taken?
Skywarn® reports are relayed from wheverer you are on the road, in your office, or at your home. You don’t have to travel to any particular location. It is important, however, to not jeopardize your own safety while participating in Skywarn®.
Skywarn® and HAM radio operators
HAM radio operators have a special place in the NWS Wilmington Skywarn® system. Our weather office has HAM radio equipment on site. A Skywarn® net run by the volunteer amateur radio net control operators allows for reports from the field to be delivered directly to the NWS office. You can learn more about our HAM radio network on our HAM page.
How do I join Skywarn®?
You can learn more about how to become a trained Skywarn® spotter on this page.

  Skywarn® and the Skywarn® logo are registered trademarks of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, used with permission