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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:


Mike Fries -- michael.j.fries@noaa.gov -- WFO Buffalo, Warning Coordination Meteorologist

Jon Hitchcock -- jon.hitchcock@noaa.gov -- WFO Buffalo, SKYWARN Program Coordinator


 

Spring 2020 Training Schedule (Severe Weather SKYWARN)
 
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Following the latest recommendations from the CDC and NWS Leadership on social distancing for Coronavirus COVID-19, the NWS Buffalo SKYWARN Training program has been suspended through at least the end of April.  All SKYWARN Training dates through the end of April have been cancelled. 
 
The two training sessions in May are still scheduled for now, but these may also be cancelled as the situation evolves.
 
NOTE: All 4 online sessions listed below will cover the same training material, you only need to attend one session
 

 

DATE TIME COUNTY LOCATION ORGANIZATION

Monday

3/30/2020

7:00 PM ONLINE

ONLINE

Click Here to Register

National Weather Service Buffalo, NY

Tuesday

4/14/2020

7:00 PM ONLINE

ONLINE

Click Here to Register

National Weather Service Buffalo, NY

Wednesday

4/29/2020

7:00 PM ONLINE

ONLINE

Click Here to Register

National Weather Service Buffalo, NY

Tuesday

5/12/2020

7:00 PM Niagara

Warren J. Rathke Public Safety Training Facility

5574 Niagara St Extension

Lockport, NY 14059

Niagara County Emergency Services

Wednesday

5/13/2020

7:00 PM ONLINE

ONLINE

Click Here to Register

National Weather Service Buffalo, NY

Thursday

5/14/2020

7:00 PM Cattaraugus

Allegany Community Center

186 West Main St

Allegany, NY 14706

Cattaraugus County Emergency Services

 

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