First Responders, Amateur Radio Operators, and members of the public interested in becoming SKYWARN® weather spotters—and current spotters who wish to refresh their skills—are encouraged to save the date for one of the three in-person training opportunities to be offered in the Fargo/Moorhead area, or one of 5 virtual quick refreshers, during 2022.
These free classes are presented by the National Weather Servic, last about 2 1/2 hours, and are open to the public. Participants will learn about:
- Basics of thunderstorm development
- Fundamentals of storm structure
- Identifying potential severe weather features
- Information to report
- How to report information
- Basic severe weather safety
No registration is required for the in-person classes; seating may be limited.
Registration is required for the virtual classes. Please follow the registration instructions on the virtual quick refresher pages.
Information about other regional training opportunities, answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about SKYWARN, and NWS contact information, is available on the NWS WFO Grand Forks, ND SKYWARN page.
In most years, thunderstorms, tornadoes and lightning caused 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 communities 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 main responsibility of a SKYWARN® spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms. In an average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States.
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 are part of the ranks of citizens who form the Nation’s first line of defense against severe weather. There can be no finer reward than to know that their efforts have given communities the precious gift of time–seconds and minutes that can help save lives. 1
Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions About SKYWARN® section of the NWS WFO Grand Forks, ND page for more information about SKYWARN®.
SKYWARN® is a registered trademark of NOAA’s National Weather Service. Rules for the usage of the SKYWARN® name and logo are available on-line.
- SKYWARN® Online
- SKYWARN® Contact
“NWS SKYWARN Storm Spotter Program”, National Weather Service , retrieved February 29 2020, http://www.nws.noaa.gov/skywarn/. ↩︎