SKYWARN™ is a national effort to save lives during severe weather emergencies with an expanding network of trained weather spotters. The services performed by SKYWARN™ spotters have saved many lives.
The National Weather Service has a number of devices for detecting severe thunderstorms. Included in these are Doppler radar, satellite, and lightning detection networks. However, the most important tool for observing thunderstorms is the trained eye of the storm spotter.
By providing observations, SKYWARN™ spotters assist National Weather Service members in their warning decisions and enable the National Weather Service to fulfill its mission of protecting life and property.
Storm spotters are, and always will be, an indispensable part of the severe local warning program.
The National Weather Service office in Buffalo participates in the annual ARRL - SKYWARN™ special event. For details on the national event, QSL instructions and the rest of the statistics, check out the Special event homepage.
NWS Buffalo SKYWARN™Training Sessions
SKYWARN™ is a nationwide program of spotters that report severe weather to the National Weather Service. Anyone can become a SKYWARN™ spotter for the National Weather Service, all you have to do is attend one of our Spotter Training Sessions. There is no charge for the training.
SKYWARN™ training sessions are held throughout our area of responsibility based on demand...generally from late winter through spring. The basic training session provides a brief overview to the National Weather Service (the organization and our responsibilities), the equipment we use (including capabilities and limitations), and basic severe weather meteorology (including how thunderstorms, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes form). Training sessions last about two hours.
Attendees are instructed what types of severe weather the National Weather Service is interested in hearing about and are given an 800 telephone number for 24 hour access make reports directly to the NWS forecasters.
For more information, please contact:
Jon Hitchcock -- Jon.Hitchcock@noaa.gov -- SKYWARN™ Focal Point, WFO Buffalo
Judith Levan -- Judith.Levan@noaa.gov -- WFO Buffalo, Warning Coordination Meteorologist
SKYWARN training sessions for Severe Convective Weather (Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Flash Floods, etc) are conducted from about March through May.
SKYWARN training sessions for Winter Weather are conducted from September through November.
There are currently no training sessions scheduled.