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