National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


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 SKYWARNTraining 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 -- -- SKYWARN Focal Point, WFO Buffalo
Judith Levan -- -- 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. 

NWS Buffalo 2015 SKYWARN Training Sessions
Date/Time Location Address Sponser Contact

Tuesday March 3, 2015

SUNY Brockport

Lennon Hall Room 306

SUNY Brockport Meteorology Club

Jacob Sojda

Wednesday March 11, 2015


Ontario County Safety Training Center

2914 County Road 48, Canandaigua, NY  14424

Ontario County Office of Emergency Management

Debra Trickey –

Wednesday March 18, 2015


Oswego County Offices

200 North Second St, Fulton, NY  13069

Oswego County Office of Emergency Services

Dale Currier315-591-9150

Monday March 23, 2015


WCA Hospital

207 Foote Ave, Jamestown, NY  14701

Chautauqua County Amateur FM Association

John Crossley –

Tuesday March 24, 2015


SUNY Oswego

308 Shineman Hall, Oswego, NY  13126

SUNY Oswego Meteorology Club

Monday April 6, 2015
Monroe County Public Safety Training Center 1190 Scottsville Rd  Rochester, NY  14624 Monroe County Office of Emergency Management Fred Rion –
Tuesday April 7, 2015
Lancaster Office of Emergency Management 525 Pavement Rd  Lancaster, NY  14043 Lancaster Amateur Radio Club  
Monday April 13, 2015

Orleans County Emergency Management Office 14064 County House Rd  Albion, NY 14411 Orleans County Amateur Radio Club Terry Cook 585-589-6362
Wednesday April 15, 2015
Lewis County Search and Rescue Building 7782 West St  Lowville, NY  13367 Lewis County Department of Emergency Management Robert Mackenzie –
Friday May 1, 2015
Buffalo State College Classroom Building Room A209 Buffalo State Geography and Planning Department Dr. Stephen Vermette
Wednesday May 6, 2015
Wyoming County Public Safety Building 338 North Main St  Warsaw, NY  14569 Wyoming County Office of Emergency Services Tony Santoro –
Thursday May 7, 2015
Penfield Town Hall 3100 Atlantic Ave  Penfield, NY  14526 Monroe County Office of Emergency Management Fred Rion –
Tuesday May 12, 2015
Genesee County Fire Training Center 7690 State Street Rd  Batavia, NY  14020 Genesee County Office of Emergency Services Tim Yaegar –
Wednesday May 13, 2015
Jefferson County Office Building 175 Arsenal St  Watertown, NY  13601 Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management

Joseph Plummer –

Tuesday May 19, 2015
Saint Peter's Episcopal Church 12 Elm St  Westfield, NY  14787 Chautauqua and Erie Amateur Radio Club Richard Odebralski 716-224-2170
Thursday May 28, 2015
Cayuga County Office Building Sixth Floor 160 Genesee St  Auburn, NY  13021 Cayuga County Emergency Management Brian Dahl –



Other links

Western and Northern NY SKYWARN frequency map

An illustrated SKYWARN spotter guide

Other SKYWARN Sites:

NWS Binghamton SKYWARN Homepage

NWS Cleveland SKYWARN Homepage

NWS Albany SKYWARN Homepage

NWS Burlington SKYWARN Homepage