National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

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, including amateur radio operators. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.  Spotters generally report significant events such as damaging winds, heavy rain, tornadic activity, ice and snow, along with other events that have an impact on the forecast or the safety of the community.  Additional information can be found on the national SKYWARN® page .

There are two ways you can become a trained SKYWARN® spotter for NWS Jackson, KY, either by the preferred method of attending a class in person or by taking a series of online training modules.


Training Method #1: NWS Jackson, KY, in cooperation with county Emergency Managers, will hold multiple weather spotter classes across eastern Kentucky or virutally throughout the year.  A schedule of upcoming classes can be found below. Unless otherwise stated, these classes are open to the public and free of charge.  We will also continue to offer a couple virtual spotter talk options as well during the early spring, in case you aren't able to make any of the in-person ones. 



Training Method #2: Prospective weather spotters that cannot make it to an in-person spotter class can take a series of online training modules.  These modules provide baseline training for all spotters by covering the procedures for spotting (including communication and spotter report criteria) and safety considerations for all weather hazards.  You can access these courses at or by clicking the image below.  Within a few weeks of your completion of these online modules, we will contact you with additional locally prepared training required to complete the process.  Completing the online training typically takes between 2 and 3 hours of combined time.


The following resources are also available to assist weather spotters who have already attended a SKYWARN® Weather Spotter class:

For further information please contact us at 606-666-2560 or by emailing