National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

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 2024 Training Schedule
 
Note: Spring training courses focus on severe thunderstorm hazards, flash flooding, severe weather safety, and how to report to the NWS.
 
All of the scheduled training sessions will cover the same material
 
Note: Additional training sessions (including virtual options) are in the process of being scheduled, keep checking back for more dates!
 

 

DATE TIME COUNTY LOCATION ORGANIZATION

Wednesday

3/13/2024

7 PM Ontario

Ontario County Emergency Management Office

2914 County Route 48

Canandaigua, NY 14424

SIARC Amateur Radio Club

and

Ontario County Emergency Management

Register HERE

Saturday

4/6/2024

2 PM Oswego

SUNY Oswego

Richard S Shineman Center

Room 122

SUNY Oswego Meteorology Department

Register HERE

Wednesday

4/17/2024

7 PM Erie

Town of Lancaster Emergency Management Office

525 Pavement Rd

Lancaster, NY 14086

Lancaster Amateur Radio Club

and

Town of Lancaster Emergency Management

Register HERE

Tuesday

4/23/2024

7 PM Wyoming

Arcade Fire Department

145 North St

Arcade, NY 14009

Wyoming County Emergency Management

Register HERE

Tuesday

4/30/2024

5 PM Jefferson

Roswell P Flower Memorial Library

229 Washington St

Watertown, NY 13601

Roswell P Flower Memorial Library

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