National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

SKYWARN

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. SKYWARN training sessions for Severe Convective Weather (Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Flash Floods, etc.) are conducted from March through May. SKYWARN training sessions for Winter Weather are conducted from September through November. 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.

SKYWARN training sessions for Winter Weather are conducted from September through November. 

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
or
Judith Levan -- Judith.Levan@noaa.gov -- WFO Buffalo, Warning Coordination Meteorologist


 

Fall 2017 Winter Training Schedule
 

 

DATE TIME COUNTY LOCATION ORGANIZATION

Tuesday

11/14/2017

7 PM Erie

Lancaster Office of Emergency Management

525 Pavement Rd

Lancaster, NY 14086

Lancaster Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday

11/15/2017

6:30 PM Ontario

Ontario County Office of Emergency Management

3019 County Complex Dr

Canandaigua, NY 14424

Ontario County Office of Emergency Management

Tuesday

11/21/2017

7 PM Erie

Buffalo State College

Classroom Building Room A209

1300 Elmwood Ave

Buffalo, NY 14222

Western NY AMS Chapter and Dr. Stephen Vermette

 

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