National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


2022 Spring Spotter Talk Schedule


Date Community Location Time
Apr 27 Virtual (Click Here to Sign Up) Virtual (Click Here to Sign Up) 6:00 pm
May 18 Virtual (Click Here to Sign Up)

Virtual (Click Here to Sign Up)

6:00 pm
May 24 Virtual (Click Here to Sign Up) Virtual (Click Here to Sign Up) 6:00 pm
June 15 Virtual (Click Here to Sign Up) Virtual (Click Here to Sign Up) 6:00 pm
June 29 Virtual (Click Here to Sign Up) Virtual (Click Here to Sign Up) 6:00 pm


What is a Weather Spotter?
  • About:  The effects of severe weather are felt every year by many Americans. To obtain critical weather information, NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, established SKYWARN® with partner organizations. SKYWARN® is a volunteer program with nearly 290,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.


  • Who is Eligible?: NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication, such HAM radio, to join the SKYWARN® program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter.

  • How to Sign Up?:  The NWS Caribou holds two series of spotter talks each year.  The first is during the spring months (late May/early June) and this training is focused on summer severe weather threats. The second series is held in late fall and these training sessions are focused on winter weather hazards.   For more information on being a spotter please contact


What You Should Report


Weather Type Report Criteria  What Specifically to Report
Tornado Always Report Location, movement, visible damage
Funnel Always Report Organized, Persistent, Sustained Rotation
Wall Clouds Always Report Organized, Persistent, Sustained Rotation
Hail > Pea Size Report the Largest Stone
Wind > 40 mph or visible damage Measured Wind Speeds, Type of visible wind damage
Heavy Rainfall Rainfall Rates > 1” per/hour How Much, How Quick
Flooding Always Report Flooding that impacts roads, homes or businesses. Streams or Rivers are near bankfull.
Coastal Erosion / Flooding Always Report Flooding impacting roads or harbors. Erosion of natural or man-made shoreline
Snowfall / Sleet > 1”  Snowfall amounts and snowfall rates > 2” per/hour
Ice Accretion Any Icing Radial Ice Accretion
Freezing Sea Spray Always Report Severity and location of freezing spray accretion
Blowing Snow Near White Out Conditions Location and Duration
Ice Jams Always Report Location and Flooding that impacts roads, homes, businesses
Storm Damage Always Damage to Any Human Infrastructure and/or Significant Erosion or Tree Damage


Amateur Radio
  • Amateur Radio operators are a critical part of the SKYWARN Weather spotter program. These “HAMs” as they’re called, are able to utilize their skills with radio to reach out over a large area and gather storm reports. The National Weather Service utilizes Amateur Radio operators around the country to help full-fill our agency’s mission to protect lives and property.
  • The National Weather Service in Caribou (WX1CAR) is seeking amateur radio groups in northern and eastern Maine that would like to participate in this program locally. Participation in the program is voluntary and would be based on impending or ongoing hazardous weather situations impacting the local area. Please contact us if you’re interested.
  • Specifically, we’re looking for volunteers in Aroostook, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Washington counties.
  • A NWS Caribou SKYWARN NET can be held during high impact weather events with pre-coordination from the NWS to specific HAM/ARES groups POCs.  The SKYWARN NET's are facilited by the Aroostook ARES team at the NWS Caribou office.  These are the typical frequencies; NWS Caribou SKYWARN NET - VHF 146.730 MHz (North Wade) repeater, 146.640 MHz (Fort Kent), 444.400 MHz (Caribou) and for beyond Aroostook County they use the state emergency HF frequency of 3.940 MHz.