National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Spring 2021 Training Schedule


Spring 2021 Spotter Training and Outreach

With the continuing COVID-19 crisis, all of our SKYWARN storm spotter training classes will be conducted via webinar.

We will hold a series of 13 training webinars this fall.  Everyone is invited and welcome to attend the training!

Ten of the webinars will be "baseline" storm spotter training classes.  Attending one of these sessions will qualify you as a trained SKYWARN storm spotter.  If you are a veteran spotter, completing one of these sessions will satisfy your two-yearly refresher training requirement.

We will offer an advanced spotter training session this spring.  This will be a more detailed, scientific look at tornado and severe weather production.  We recommend that spotters complete at least one basic spotter training class before attending the advanced program.  Experience in "live" storm spotting will be helpful.

We will present a session on basic weather radar interpretation.  In past years, the radar information was a part of the advanced spotter training program.  This year, the radar interpretation will be a "stand alone" program.  This will allow us to provide a more thorough presentation.

For the first time, we will offer a session on spotter group operations.  This program is geared for emergency managers, storm spotter group leaders, ARES/RACES officers, and EOC communications liaisons.  The program will focus on organizing the trained spotters into a cohesive, area-wide reporting network.


"Baseline" Spotter Training Classes

PLEASE NOTE:  All "baseline" spotter training sessions will be presented using GoToMeeting

No pre-registration needed!  All "baseline" programs will use the same direct link to the presentation!

Dates and times of spotter training webinars are subject to change.

Thu Feb 25 6:30-8:30 PM
Tue Mar 2 6:30-8:30 PM
Thu Mar 4 6:30-8:30 PM
Mon Mar 8 6:30-8:30 PM
Tue Mar 9 6:30-8:30 PM
Thu Mar 11 6:30-8:30 PM
Mon Mar 15 6:30-8:30 PM
Tue Mar 16

6:00-8:00 PM*

(Time Change)

Tue Mar 23*

(Date Change)

6:30-8:30 PM
Thu Mar 25 6:30-8:30 PM


Advanced Spotter Training Class

The advanced spotter class will be a more scientific look at storms and severe weather production.  We will discuss severe storm classifications, storm environments, storm rotation and tornado formation theories, and tools for evaluating storm environment.  It is recommended that attendees complete at least one baseline spotter training session prior to this class.  "Live" spotter experience will be helpful.  The advanced class will be presented using GoToWebinar.  


Mon Mar 29 6:30-8:30 PM


You will receive a confirmation email with a link to join the webinar.


Spotter Network Operations Class

This session is geared for emergency managers, spotter group leaders, ARES/RACES officers, and EOC/emergency communications liaisons.  We will review concepts and best practices for organizing storm spotters into an integrated reporting network.  We will discuss concepts for spotter activation, monitoring weather conditions, and relaying spotter reports to local officials and to NWS.  


Tue Mar 30 7:00-8:30 PM


You will receive a confirmation email with a link to join the webinar.


Basic Radar Interpretation Class

This session is all about radar!  We will discuss the concepts of how radar works, and review the types of weather radar units.  We will discuss conditions which affect the quality of radar data.  We will review basic radar reflectivity and velocity products, and will present signatures which suggest severe weather.  We will discuss dual-polarization images and common severe weather applications of these data.  We will conclude with case studies of recent severe weather events.  

Thu Apr 1 7:00-8:30 PM


You will receive a confirmation email with a link to join the webinar.


For more information, contact us at