National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Skywarn is a National Weather Service (NWS) program of trained volunteer severe weather spotters. Skywarn volunteers support their local community by providing the NWS with timely and accurate severe weather reports. These reports, when integrated with modern NWS technology, are used to inform communities of the proper actions to take as severe weather threatens. The key focus of the Skywarn program is to save lives and property through the use of the observations and reports of trained volunteers.

Skywarn volunteers donate thousands of hours and the use of their own personal radio equipment and vehicles to give their communities advanced warning of life threatening weather. Since the NWS instituted the Skywarn Program, there has been a significant decrease in the death rate due to tornadoes and other severe weather.


Spotter Items:


Are you interested in hosting a SKYWARN Spotter Training Session?  

The NWS Raleigh frequently works with groups such as amateur radio clubs, emergency services organizations, schools, universities, and civic groups and clubs to host SKYWARN Spotter Training. If your group or club would like to host a training session in central North Carolina, please complete this survey.  We require a miminum of 20 people to attend before we'll consider hosting a training session with any group.  We are now scheduling classes through the spring of 2015


NWS Raleigh spotter ID numbers

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY:  NWS Raleigh has discontinued the issuance of, and use of spotter ID numbers.   When making storm reports to the NWS Raleigh, please do not include a spotter ID number; instead, simply provide your name, location, details pertaining to the severe weather or damage, and contact information.  Spotters who wish to obtain some sort of identification number are encouraged to consider becoming a CoCoRaHS observer to supplement their SKYWARN service.

Schedule of upcoming in-person training sessions:

Date and Time Training City Location Notes
Additional classes being scheduled. Please occasionally revisit this page for class additions. 


Free, web-based SKYWARN training:

  • COMET SKYWARN Spotter Training. This free web-based SKYWARN training class is available to the public, and is offered by the COMET MetED program. The NWS Raleigh is honoring this training and will include individuals who take this online training as part of its database of SKYWARN spotters for central North Carolina.


Other Training Items:


Local SkywarnTM Groups:


Remember...Please email severe weather reports and pictures to