National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

SKYWARN® Spotter Program

What is SKYWARN®?
     SKYWARN® is a National Weather Service (NWS) program of trained volunteer severe weather spotters. SKYWARN® volunteers support their local community and government 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® Training




April 10, 2018

6:30 PM

Canyon County Public Meeting Room, 111 N 11th Ave., in Caldwell, ID

April 16, 2018

7:00 PM

Jerome County Sheriff’s Office Training Room, 2151 S Tiger Dr., in Jerome, ID

April 17, 2018

10:00 AM

Washington County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 5th Street, in Cambridge, ID

April 17, 2018

2:30 PM

Vendome Events Center, 309 State St., in Weiser, ID

Excellent training is available online at JetStream - Online School for Weather

What does a SKYWARN® Spotter report?
     Although all reports are welcome, the National Weather Service in Boise is particularly interested in the weather elements described below.

Weather Phenomena Call The NWS if...
Wind 50 mph or stronger
Hail 3/4 inch (penny size) or larger in diameter
Tornado Any tornado or rotating cloud
Flash Flooding Any significant amount of water in normally dry areas
River Flooding Any river rising above their normal bank level
Heavy Rain Rain rates of 1 inch per hour or greater
And - Rain greater than 1 inch in 24 hours
Heavy Snow Call while snowing at a rate of 1 inch per hour or greater
And - Call with total snow fall if >= 1 inch accumulates when the snow ends
Low Visibilities Visibility less than 1/2 mile due to fog, dust, rain, or snow
Freezing Rain Any freezing rain


How Do I Become a SKYWARN® Weather Spotter?
     The National Weather Service welcomes volunteers with an interest in severe weather spotting. Since the NWS instituted the SKYWARN® Program, there has been a significant decrease in the death rate due to tornadoes and other severe weather. The SKYWARN® program is completely voluntary. You may have the opportunity to call our office several times a season depending on the weather pattern in your neck-of-the-woods. If you agree, we may occasionally call you for a "ground truth" as to what is actually happening near your house. Most likely our phone call will be to confirm an element of potentially severe thunderstorms, like large hail, or damaging wind. Other calls may be to verify heavy snowfall or peak wind speed associated with large winter storms.

If interested please email

Spotter Newsletters
(These files are in Adobe Acrobat® format. The free reader/printer for these files is available from

SKYWARN® Spotter Newsletters
2017 Winter     Spring     Summer     Fall  
2016 Winter     Spring     Summer     Fall  
2015 March     June     Summer     Fall    
2014 Fall
2013 January      March     May     July 
2012 February     March     April
May     June     August
October     November 
2011 February     March     April
May     June     August
October     November    
2010 January     March     April
May     June     August
October     November    
2009 July     August     September
October     November     December
2008 Spring/Summer       Winter
2007 Spring/Summer       Winter
2006 Spring/Summer       Winter