National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Weather Spotters

Severe Weather Spotter Training and Outreach

Latest News:

- A recorded version of our 2020 Spotter Talk is available!
- Training modules for storm spotters are available in the "Training Online" section below. These two online courses can be taken in lieu of attending a class. 
- The Weather Spotter's Field Guide is available online. Please review and print for your use.


What is a Storm Spotter?

Storm spotters are volunteers who help their community and NOAA's National Weather Service by keeping an "eye on the sky" during severe weather. Our spotters contact the NWS via phone, amateur radio, or the internet, keeping our forecast staff updated with the latest weather information from their location. Anyone over the age of 15 years old can become a spotter. If you would like to become a severe weather spotter for northeast or north-central Wisconsin, you must either attend training presented by NWS Green Bay or take the three online courses in the "Training Online" section below.

To remain a spotter in good standing, you must either attend a refresher course or retake the online courses (see "Training Online" section below) every 2-4 years.

For additional information concerning the spotter program, click here for answers to Storm Spotter Frequently Asked Questions.


Frequently Requested Severe Weather Products and Pages

arrow Hazardous Weather Outlook -- NWS Green Bay Forecast Area
arrow Severe Thunderstorm/Tornado Watches -- NWS Green Bay Forecast Area
arrow Severe Weather Watches -- For Wisconsin
arrow Our Severe Weather Forecast Page -- Forecasts, watches, and warnings
arrow Submit a Storm Report to NWS Green Bay
arrow NWS Storm Prediction Center
arrow Severe Thunderstorm Risk Categories Explained -- Image

Click for larger image Click for larger image

Amateur Radio Operations at NWS Green Bay - WX9GRB

Amateur radio spotters provide valuable weather reports to the NWS Green Bay office during severe weather. Several volunteer net controllers, led by Christian Reynolds (KC0ARF), staff the amateur radio desk at the NWS Green Bay office--WX9GRB (above, left)--and stay in contact with spotters across northeast and north-central Wisconsin. The 80 ft tower (above, right) is home to the antennas.

Skywarn Recognition Day
WFO Green Bay once again participated in the annual event, celebrating the contributions that volunteer SKYWARN radio operators make to the National Weather Service. During the day, SKYWARN operators visit NWS offices and contact other radio operators across the world. Click here for more information about the event.

Spotter Brochures & Instructions

Skywarn Tri-Fold Spotter Brochure-- .pdf format
Skywarn Measuring Snowfall for NWS Green Bay -- .pdf format
Weather Spotter's Field Guide -- .pdf format 

Training Online

Spotter Training
The online classes below can be taken in lieu of attending in-person classes (all should be completed together). Upon completing the online courses, email the Certificates of Completion to -- You will then receive additional information on becoming a spotter for northeast Wisconsin.

 Skywarn Spotter Training -- Two modules/sections to receive full credit. Registration required.

Radar Interpretation
The radar training is not required to become a spotter, but is recommended for advanced spotters or net control operators.
Skywarn Introduction to the WSR-88D NWS Doppler Radar -- Basic Doppler radar overview 
Skywarn Doppler Weather Radar Fundamentals -- Fundamentals of Doppler weather radar operations & how to interpret common phenomena
Skywarn Dual Polarization Radar Fundamentals -- Dual-pol radar information

Severe Weather
Skywarn Severe Weather 101 -- Severe weather basics

Additional Spotter Information

 Packerland Amateur Radio Skywarn Society (PASS)
 Milwaukee Area Skywarn Association (MASA)
 Wisconsin Spotter Amateur Radio Frequencies
Watch the Weather Daily -- How you can contribute every day!
 Become a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador --  How your organization can become a WRN Ambassador
 Severe Weather Awareness
 The Microburst Handbook