National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

What is Skywarn?

In most years, thunderstorms, tornadoes, flash flooding and lightning cause 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 volunteer program with between 350,000 and 400,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of hazardous weather to the NWS. Skywarn® storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the Nation's first line of defense against severe and hazardous weather. Storm spotters play a critical role because they can see things that radar and other technological tools cannot, and that ground truth is critical in helping the NWS perform our primary mission of saving lives and property.

The emergence of a forecast office at Grand Junction prompted a call for weather spotters in eastern Utah and western Colorado. Despite our success in recruiting weather spotters, large areas remain where weather spotters are needed to provide a more evenly distributed data source.

Who is Eligible?

NWS encourages anyone with an interested in public service to join the Skywarn® program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens.


Skywarn Spotter Classes

We offer numerous Basic Spotter Courses each year, usually around March and November. These classes are FREE and allow individuals to learn about the wide variety of weather hazards that impact us here in eastern Utah and western Colorado. Each course lasts approximately 2 hours. Check out our latest training schedule for spotter training dates and locations.


Ways to Submit Hazardous Weather Information to NWS Grand Junction

There are a wide variety of ways you can submit spotter reports to forecasters at the NWS office in Grand Junction. Never assume that we already know your report! Take the time to report accurately by "T-E-L"ing us the: (T)ime, (E)vent, and (L)ocation.


1.) Call the NWS Grand Junction Office

Give our forecasters a call through our 24-hour public service phone line at 970-243-7007.

2.) Submit a Storm Report Online via the NWS Grand Junction Facebook or Twitter websites

Send your report, location, and time of the event on our Facebook or Twitter page - pictures are encouraged!

3.) Email

Email us your report with images if possible. You may also pass along additional information such as delayed reports as well as weather and damage pictures by emailing them to the NWS Grand Junction office.

Spotter Information

Training Videos

Thunderstorm Types


GOES-R Satellite Series


Science of Lightning


Science Behind Tornadoes


Snow Squalls