National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Skywarn Logo NWS Tampa Bay SKYWARN® Program 

 The impacts of hazardous weather are experienced by many Americans each year. To obtain critical weather information, NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, established SKYWARN® with partner organizations. SKYWARN® is a volunteer program with nearly 290,000 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.

 Please see for information on amateur radio networks and frequencies



Take One or Both of these FREE Online SKYWARN Spotter Trainings

Spotter Network logo
Do this training if you want to do SKYWARN for Smartphones (Experimental)

MetEd Logo


 Three Training Options to become a Spotter for NWS Tampa Bay.  Spotters should renew every 3 years.

  1. Attend an in-person training (see schedule below)

    • These are few and far between and run from October through April
    • We do our best to do a training in each county every year 
  2. Join the Spotter Network at

    • Create an account
    • Take their SKYWARN Spotter online training and pass quiz to become a member
    • Click on "Member Networks" in left hand menu, then join "Tampa Bay, FL (NWS/TBW)"
    • If you would like a NWS Tampa Bay Spotter ID, send us an Email after you've joined our member network and we will mail it out in 1 to 3 weeks. 
  3. Take the MetEd SKYWARN Spotter online trainings above

    • Email your County/City/Zip and certificate(s) to both and
    • Check box to notify local WFO
    • It may take 1 to 3 weeks to receive your Spotter ID, but we will acknowledge your Email when we receive it


 West Central and Southwest Florida SKYWARN Spotter Class Schedule

Training is free an open to the public. No registration needed unless otherwise noted.

Date/Time County Location


SKYWARN Classes Startup
Again in November 2017



Please take one of the online trainings above to become a volunteer
SKYWARN Severe Weather Spotter for NWS Tampa Bay Area

November 9, 2016, 6 pm


Citrus County Sheriff's Office EOC
3549 Saunders Way, Lecanto, FL  34461

November 17, 2016, 7 pm


The Villages Amateur Radio Club - All are welcome
Eisenhower Recreational Center
3560 Buena Vista Blvd, The Villages, FL 32163

November 21, 2016, 1:30 pm


Oldsmar Fire Station
225 Pine Avenue N, Oldsmar, FL  34677

December 2, 2016, 6-10pm

December 3, 2016, 9am-5pm

NWS Ruskin

SKYWARN Recognition Day
2525 14th Ave SE, Ruskin, FL  33570

December 7, 2016, 2 pm


Atrium Building - Florida Room
945 North Course Lane, Sun City Center, FL  33573

December 10, 2016, Noon


Tampa Bay Hamfest at Strawberry Festival Grounds Expo Hall
2508 W. Oak Avenue, Plant City, Florida 33563

December 14, 2016 at 10 am


Saint Petersburg Fire Rescue
400 Dr Martin Luther King Jr. St South, St Petersburg, FL  33701

January 5, 2017 at 10 am Pinellas Park Station, Room 202
5851 Park Boulevard, Pinellas Park, FL  33781
January 12, 2017 at 7 pm Hernando Hernando County Emergency Operations Center
18900 Cortez Boulevard, Brooksville, FL  34601

January 26, 2017 at 1 pm


Emergency Operations Center
3035 South Morse Blvd, The Villages, FL  32163

February 6, 2017 at 1:30 pm Pasco Travellers Rest Resort
29129 Johnston Road, Dade City, Fl 33523. 
February 8, 2017 at 6:30 pm Manatee

Manatee County Emergency Operations Center
2101 47th Terrace East, Bradenton, Florida 34203

February 16, 2017 at 10 am Charlotte Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center
26571 Airport Road, Punta Gorda, FL 33982
March 6, 2017 at 6:30 pm
Time Changed
Polk Polk County Emergency Operations Center
1890 Jim Keene Blvd, Winter Haven, FL  33880

March 16, 2017 at 10 am


Cape Coral City Hall
1015 Cultural Park Blvd, Cape Coral, FL  33990

March 21, 2017 at 7 pm Pinellas Registration Required
Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center
10750 Ulmerton Rd, Largo, FL  33778
May 10, 2017 at 6 pm Citrus Space is limited.  Contact to attend
Citrus County Emergency Operations Center
3549 Saunders Way, Lecanto, FL  34461
May 11, 2017 at 7 pm Hillsborough

Public Safety Operations Complex
9450 East Columbus Drive, Tampa 33619

June 3, 2017 at 9:30 am


2017 Hernando County Hurricane & Safety Expo (9 am to 2 pm)
Challenger K8 School, 13400 Elgin Blvd, Spring Hill, FL 34609
Limited to 30 people, call 352-754-4083 to register

June 28, 2017 at 10 am


North Port City Hall Commission Chambers
4970 City Hall Blvd., North Port, FL  34286

Classes are 1.5 hours long unless otherwise indicated. Questions? Contact


Volunteer as a SKYWARN Spotter for NWS Tampa Bay
  • NWS Tampa Bay requires SKYWARN Spotters to meet the following three requirements:
    • Live in or near west central or southwest Florida to receive an ID from NWS Tampa Bay. 
      • Counties include Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Sumter, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, Sarasota, Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Charlotte, and Lee.
      • If you live elsewhere, please contact your local NWS office for more information
    • Be at least 18-years-old.
      • Those under 18 years of age are encouraged to take the training but can not receive an offical Spotter ID.
    • Take a SKYWARN training every 3 years to remain active in the program
  • Once trained, Spotters will receive a letter or Email from our office in 1 to 3 weeks. Will include training certificate, Spotter ID Number, and an 800 number to call in reports
  • Amateur Radio



Who is Eligible?
NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication, such HAM radio, to join the SKYWARN® program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter.


Links to Great Info on the Web


Did You Know...

  • that storm spotters were first used during WWII to alert the military artillery plants of approaching lightning?
  • that after WWII spotter networks were maintained for military installations?
  • that after the May 25, 1955 tornado in Udall, KS killed 80 people, the NWS decided to train their own severe weather spotters?
  • that the first spotter training course was held March 8, 1959 in Wellington, KS for 225 weather spotters?
  • that the Skywarn™ program was officially created in 1965?


How Can I Get Involved?


NWS has 122 local Weather Forecast Offices, each with a Warning Coordination Meteorologist, who is responsible for administering the SKYWARN® program in their local area. Training is conducted at these local offices and covers:
  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
  • Information to report
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety
Classes are free and typically are about two hours long. To find a class in your area:
  • Go to: and click on your state
  • When your state comes up, click on the name of your Weather Forecast Office
  • Once at your local WFO home page, in the blue bar on the left, look for the SKYWARN link to find a schedule of classes and other local information

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 the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States. These events threatened lives and property.

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.

SKYWARN® is a registered trademark of NOAA's National Weather Service.  Rules for the usage of the SKYWARN® name and logo are available here.