National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Welcome to our updated SKYWARN® webpage. The previous SKYWARN® page can still be found at here


What is SKYWARN®? 

The effects of severe weather can be felt all across the country. In most years, thunderstorms, tornadoes and lightning caused hundreds of injuries and deaths and billions in property and crop damages.  To obtain critical weather information, the National Weather Service (NWS) established SKYWARN® with partner organizations. SKYWARN® is a citizen volunteer program with between 350,000 and 400,000 trained severe weather spotters. SKYWARN® storm spotters are citizens who form the nation's first line of defense against severe weather. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

Although SKYWARN® spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, the focus is reporting on severe local thunderstorms. In an average year, the United States experiences more than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes.

Since the program started in the 1970s, the information provided by SKYWARN® spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods. SKYWARN® storm spotters form the nation's first line of defense against severe weather. There can be no finer reward than to know that your efforts have given your family and neighbors the precious gift of time--minutes that can help save lives.

 


The Corpus Christi SKYWARN® Program

Across South Texas, dedicated volunteers risk their personal safety to provide first-hand severe weather reports to their local officiaImagels, and the National Weather Service (NWS) in Corpus Christi. Their reason, to help protect the lives and property of the citizens in South Texas.

Being a storm spotter not only means dedication, but also training. Every year, NWS Corpus Christi offers multiple SKYWARN® training classes. These classes are usually held between January and March, before the spring severe weather season. A listing of upcoming SKYWARN® classes can be found under the Training Schedule tab above. Each class is free and open to all ages. There is no pre-registration, and you do not have to be a resident of that county to attend any of our SKYWARN® classes. Please note that all classes for the 2021 SKYWARN® season will be conducted virtually via webinars.

The SKYWARN® presentation covers severe thunderstorm characteristics, cloud formations, identifying the different threats associated with severe storms, how to report, and basic weather safety. We strongly recommend everyone attend a SKYWARN® presentation at least once a year to refresh on these concepts. If needed, training certificates are provided at each class. We do not issue Spotter IDs.

 

 

skywarn logo

Instructions for printing your Skywarn™ certificate online
You should have attended a recent NWS Skywarn™ class and received a password from your trainer.  In the form below, enter your name as you want it to appear on your certificate and the password.  Then, click on the Create Certificate button.  A certificate with your name, and today's date will appear in the browser.  Click on File>Page Setup, delete any characters in the Header and Footer boxes, delete the numbers in each of the 4 margin boxes (the blanks will be replaced by the lowest possible settings), select Landscape, and click OK.  Then, click on your browser's print button.  If you have recently completed a Skywarn™ course, did not receive a printed certificate, and did not receive a password, please e-mail Tyler Castillo.  Include your name and the date of your training.

 

Your Name
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Feedback Form
(Not yet open for 2021)

 

 


How to Submit A Report


What We Need To Know

  • Type of Report: What are you reporting?
  • Time of Event: When did it occur?
  • Location: Where did it occur?
  • Size? Measured/Estimated
  • Magnitude? Damages/injuries/etc

What To Report

  • Tornadoes (funnel clouds, rotating wall clouds, waterspouts)
  • Flash flooding
  • Hail
  • Damaging winds

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I become a SKYWARN® member?

  • The NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service to join the SKYWARN® program. Your community may have an organized storm spotter network that uses the name SKYWARN®, and you should contact your local emergency manager to find out what formal spotter networks are in place near you, and how you might be able to get involved.

I took the online SKYWARN® course offered by COMET/MeEd. Am I qualified to serve as a spotter for my local office?

  • Yes, taking the national online courses qualifies you to report to our office as a trained SKYWARN® spotter, but we ask that you please review our local presentation (linked below) to review our local storm trends, storm threats, reporting methods and reporting criteria. We also ask that you please attend one of our local SKYWARN® classes when they are offered.

Do I need an amateur radio license to be a storm spotter?

  • It depends on your community and how involved you want to be. You don’t have to be an amateur radio operator to make a severe weather report, but many spotter networks are made up of dedicated amateur radio operators who use radio to coordinate their local network and to relay reports to the NWS. If you’re interested in learning more about amateur radio, click this link.

Do I need a spotter ID number? How do I get an ID card?

  • NWS Corpus Christi no longer issued spotter ID numbers or spotter ID cards.

When are the classes offered? How long are the classes? Do I need to register?

  • Here at NWS Corpus Christi, we offer SKYWARN® classes beginning late January/early February and continuing through April. Each classes is roughly an hour and a half long. Registration may be required for some in-person training sites. For the 2021 season, all classes will be virtual. Therefore, you will need to follow the web link provided.

Recorded Presentations

 


Resources For You


For More Information, Contact:

Tyler Castillo
Meteorologist
361-289-0959
tyler.castillo@noaa.gov