National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
News Headlines

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


 

Fall 2018 Training Schedule (Winter SKYWARN)
 

 

DATE TIME COUNTY LOCATION ORGANIZATION

Tuesday

9/4/2018

7:00 PM Erie

Erie County Fire Training Academy

3359 Broadway Ave

Cheektowaga, NY 14227

Lancaster Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday

10/3/2018

7:45 PM Monroe

Seneca Waterways Council BSA

2320 Brighton-Henrietta Townline Rd

Rochester, NY 14623

Rochester Amateur Radio Association

Monroe County ARES

Wednesday

10/17/2018

7:00 PM Oswego

Joint Information Center

Oswego County Airport

40 Airport Dr

Fulton, NY 13069

Oswego County RACES

Oswego County Emergency Management Office

Tuesday

11/6/2018

7:00 PM ONLINE

ONLINE Webinar

(Registration Required)

National Weather Service Buffalo, NY

REGISTER HERE

 

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