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NWS Detroit/Pontiac Outreach Schedule

Winter Spotter Training (Virtual Again 2021) 

The Winter Spotter Training class will be virtual again...November 9, 2021 at 7 p.m.  To register:

Even though the threat of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes ends during the winter, we still need your spotter reports! Your spotter reports are just as important during the winter season and help us with warning and advisory decisions for Southeast Michigan. Your reports also help us tell the story of each winter storm or snowfall event. Snowfall and precipitation type can vary greatly even over small distance within one county. Those reports are sent out and use by the local and national media. The also appear on our web page and help us draw our snowfall maps.

The winter spotter class will last roughly an hour and 15 minutes. Topics include:

  • A review of the 2020-21 winter season
  • A look at winter weather climatology
  • Examination of winter weather meteorology
  • NWS winter forecast products
  • Review of guidelines & reporting procedure for winter weather spotters
Skywarn Spotter Training (Virtual)

Skywarn spotter training classes will again be scheduled for Southeast Michigan in the Spring of 2022.  Is it yet to be determined if they will be in-person or virtual due to the response to COVID.  Please check below and on the calendar for additional details.

Spotter training classes cover severe weather hazards including thunderstorms and tornadoes.  This includes the general structure and movement of severe thunderstorms, identification of important storm features, and safety concerns.

  • All classes last about 75 to 90 minutes.
  • They are free and open to the public.
  • Must be age 13 or older to report.
  • However, classes are appropriate for all ages. Ages 10 and up will likely get the most out of the training.
  • Pre-registration MAY BE required.  Please check with hosting County Emergency Manager.  
  • Classes are scheduled in collaboration with local emergency management officials.

 ** Important:  Please note that a class will NOT be held in every county every year.  You may attend a class in any location, regardless of where you live. **

If you cannot make one of the Skywarn classes this year, there are a couple of alternatives for Skywarn Training.  An online Skywarn training is available through the NOAA MetEd web site.  Currently there are two courses, each taking about one hour to complete...The Role of the Skywarn Spotter and Skywarn Spotter Convective Basics


Virtual Skywarn Training Information

As mentioned above, all Skywarn Training in 2021 will be held virtually. Below is a list of the dates and registration links. NWS Detroit will be using the GoTo webinar client to conduct the training.   Each class will be limited to 150 connections to better facilitate the question and answer portion of the training.  You may have, and are encouraged to have multiple family members from the same household sit in on the training from one connection.  All start times are at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.


We look forward to talking with you at this year’s Skywarn spotter training class!



Visit our preparedness page for additional information.