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2018 SKYWARN Classes & Information!


Online SKYWARN Spotter Classes

We offer several ONLINE Basic Spotter Courses and a single Advanced Spotter Course each spring and fall. These online classes are FREE, and allow individuals to complete the course(s) in the comfort of their own home or office with the use of By attending any course, which runs about 2 hours, individuals (or a group of individuals) will become SKYWARN Spotters. To see when these classes will be held, scroll down or click hereTo schedule a LOCAL Basic Storm Spotter class in your area, please contact your county Emergency Management Office.

Unless you'd like to or are in need of a refresher, you do not need to attend more than one Basic SKYWARN Course, as the material covered is the same; however, we require you to attend at least one Basic SKYWARN Course before taking the Advanced SKYWARN Course. These courses are two-way, meaning you will be able to interact with the meteorologist leading the training. You will be muted while training is in-progress, and unmuted when applicable (e.g., for questions); or, you can use the built-in chat feature.

If you would like to review our spotter training at any time, a PDF version is available below, in the 'Spotter Information' section.



How to Attend an Online SKYWARN Spotter Class

You may attend any spotter course via: your Internet browser using web-based, or your tablet using the app., available for download in Google
Play and the Apple App store. 

Internet browser:

  1.  Go to  
  2.  Select the green button located on the right of the web page labeled
     'Join Meeting.'
  3.  You will then be prompted to enter a nine-digit code. The code corresponds to the time and date of the course   you wish to attend. Scroll down to the class schedule or click here to retrieve your code.
  4.  Enable your audio feed by selecting the green audio button at the top of the window. Select "Call by   Internet" in the drop-down menu. app.:

  1. Open the app.
  2. Enter your nine-digit meeting code under the green "join" section. The code corresponds to the time and date of the course you wish to attend. Scroll down to the class schedule or click here to retrieve your code.
  3. Enable your audio feed by selecting the green phone icon at the top of the window. Select "Call by  Internet" in the drop-down menu.


Additional SKYWARN Learning Material

Though not a requirement, as a warm up to the spotter classes, NWS Birmingham would like those who plan on attending the online classes, or even our locally scheduled classes, to view the following FREE online training modules:


                        MetEd Image                                                                     MetEd Image


The "Role of the SKYWARN® Spotter" module is used to provide baseline training for all spotters through multiple scenarios covering the procedures for spotting (including communication and storm report criteria), safety considerations for all hazards, and an overview of the national program and its history. The "SKYWARN® Spotter Convective Basics" module will guide users to a basic understanding of convective storms. Through three different scenarios, you will cover reporting and proper communication of local storm reports to the National Weather Service (NWS), personal safety during these events, and field identification of convective storm hazards. After completing the scenarios, you will be given the opportunity to practice identifying storm features from a spectrum of photos.


Central Alabama SKYWARN Spotter Class Schedule for the Fall 2018 Severe Season


Online Classes


Class / County


Session Code
Enter Code at
Please Read Instructions Above

Tues 10/02 @ 1:00PM
Forecaster Holmes
Basic Online 935-938-747
Wed 10/10 @ 6:30PM
Forecaster Satterwhite
Basic Online 492-321-695
Thurs 10/18 @ 1:00PM
Forecaster Satterwhite
Basic Online 131-611-700
Thurs 10/25 @ 6:30PM
Forecaster Satterwhite
Basic Online 725-905-971
Mon 11/05 @ 6:30PM
Forecaster Satterwhite
Basic Online 471-316-027
Wed 11/14 @ 6:30PM
Forecaster Holmes
Advanced Online 398-176-443
TBD means To Be Determined
Classes are ~2.0 hours long unless otherwise indicated

All times are Central unless otherwise noted


On-site Classes





Thurs 09/20
Basic Calhoun

Jacksonville Public Safety Complex
911 Public Safety Drive SW
Jacksonville, AL

Thurs 10/18
Basic Etowah

The Venue (old Kmart building)
201 George Wallace Drive
Gadsden, AL

Thurs 11/08
Basic Tuscaloosa

Alabama Fire College
2501 Phoenix Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL

TBD means To Be Determined
Classes are ~2.0 hours long unless otherwise indicated

All times are Central unless otherwise noted



SKYWARN is the National Weather Service (NWS) program of trained volunteer weather spotters.  Storm spotters come from many walks of life, including fire fighters, law enforcement, and amateur radio operators.  SKYWARN spotters coordinate with local emergency management officials and send reports of weather based phenomena to the NWS.

In addition to serving as a community's first line of defense against dangerous storms, spotters provide important information to warning forecasters who make critical warning decisions.  SKYWARN storm spotters play a critical role of giving the NWS vital ground truth data, which helps the NWS perform its primary mission, to save lives and property.

Registration will be conducted prior to the beginning of each class.  Spotter classes are not usually held during the summer months.  Additional spotter classes may not be shown in the table above when scheduled for specific groups such as law enforcement training classes.


Spotter Information

*In Adobe PDF format, a free download.


Additional Links