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Heavy Rain in the Northwest; Winter Weather from the Midwest to Northeast

Heavy rain in the Pacific Northwest will will force sharp rises on the rivers flowing off the Cascades where a Flood Watch has been issued. A storm will track across the Midwest to the Northeast through this weekend bringing a wintry mix over portions of the Midwest and Northeast. South of the storm track, heavy rain will fall from the Lower Mississippi River Valley to the Mid-Atlantic. Read More >


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 -- -- WFO Buffalo, Warning Coordination Meteorologist

Jon Hitchcock -- -- WFO Buffalo, SKYWARN Program Coordinator


Fall 2019 Training Schedule (Winter SKYWARN)





6:30 PM Oswego

Oswego County Emergency Management

200 North Second St

Fulton, NY 13069

Oswego County Office of Emergency Management



7:00 PM Jefferson

Adams Fire Station

6 North Main St

Adams, NY 13601

Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management



7:00 PM Erie

Erie County Fire Training Academy

3359 Broadway Ave

Cheektowaga, NY 14227

Erie County Department of Emergency Services

Village of Depew Office of Emergency Management



7:00 PM Monroe

Town of Ogden Community Center

269 Ogden Center Rd

Spencerport, NY 14559

SUNY Brockport

University of Rochester



7:00 PM Online




National Weather Service Buffalo, NY



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