National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


NWS Newport/Morehead City

2020 SKYWARN® (Winter Classes Now Being Added)

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About SKYWARN: Our program is a year round program.  Our goal is to train you how to accurately report severe weather to us, ranging from severe weather (hail, wind, tornadoes, flooding) to rain, snow and ice measurements.  All of our classes are free and open to ALL ages.  Most classes do -NOT- require previous training.  The only exception is our Advanced Class, where it is best if you have already attended a Basic SKYWARN class. 

Basic SKYWARN:  Covers the NWS mission and importance of spotters and ground truth reports.  Topics include thunderstorm hazards, thunderstorm ingredients, thunderstorm life cycle, downbursts, supercells, tornadoes, hail, flash flooding, squall lines, bow echoes, and lightning.  Learn how to report severe weather to the National Weather Service.  

Winter SKYWARN:  Covers the NWS mission and importance of spotters and ground truth reports.  Topics include winter preparedness, winter storm ingredients, nor'easters, historic winter storms in our area, alberta clippers, ice storms, NWS products, measuring snow and ice.  Learn how to report snow and ice to the National Weather Service.

Flood/Tropical SKYWARN:  Covers the NWS mission and importance of spotters and ground truth reports.  Topics include flood and hurricane preparedness, flood and hurricane history in our area, types of flooding, and ways to measure rainfall   Learn how to report rainfall, wind, and storm surge to the National Weather Service.

CoCoRaHS Training:  Learn all about how to measure precipitation through the CoCoRaHS program and how to register for the program.  Topics include setting up your rain gauge, locating a good place for your gauge, how to read the gauge, and how to submit your reports online.  

Online Versions (Basic/Winter):  Condensed version of the basic or winter class that is usually just under an hour in length.  These classes are taught a few times a season as a supplement to our in person classes.  To take these classes you must have internet access and a phone line for audio.  You can take these in the comfort of your home!  In addition we offer these classes via YouTube.



Latest Schedule

Updated 1/7/2020


NOTE: Classes may be canceled on short notice due to severe weather threatening the area. You will be notified via the contact information you registered with. 


Date Time Class Location Registration
Thursday December 12th 7:30 - 8:30 PM Winter/Online Your Computer Register Online
Thursday December 19th 630 - 800 PM Winter Fessenden Center Annex. 47017 Buxton Back Road.  Buxton, NC. 27920.  Google Map Closed/Class Full
Monday January 6th 630 - 745 PM Winter 370 Airport Road.  Manteo, NC.  27954. Google Map Google Form
Saturday January 11th 630 - 7:30 PM Winter/Online Your Computer Register Online
Thursday January 23rd 630  - 745 PM Winter 200 Rhodes Avenue.  Kinston, NC 28501. Google Map Google Form
Friday January 24th 700 PM - 8:15 PM Winter Cape Carteret Town Hall.  102 Dolphin Street.  Cape Carteret, NC.  28584.  Google Map Google Form


When to send a storm report?

When you can do safely, please send us a report when you observe one or more of the following:

  • Tornado (confirm rotation)
  • Waterspouts (confirm rotation)
  • Funnel cloud (confirm rotation)
  • Hail (any size)
    • 0.25" or less - Pea
    • 0.50" - Mothball
    • 0.75" - Dime/Penny
    • 0.88" - Nickel
    • 1.00" - Quarter
    • 1.25" - Half Dollar
    • 1.50" - Walnut/Ping Pong
    • 1.75" - Golf Ball
    • 2.00" - Hen Egg
    • 2.50" - Tennis Ball
    • 2.75" - Baseball
    • 3.00" - Tea Cup
    • 4.00" - Grapefruit
    • 4.50" - Softball
  • Wind damage.  What is damaged?  Number of trees down?  Are they snapped, uprooted?  Large branches, small branches?
  • Flooding Include pictures if you can.  How deep is the water (use what is around you as a guide, i.e water up to the bumpers).
  • Snowfall (any amount)
  • Rainfall  (Generally 2" or greater in 24 hours -or- 1" in less than an hour. 



  • Tornado: A violently rotating column of air, usually pendant to a cumulonimbus, with circulation reaching the ground. It nearly always starts as a funnel cloud and may be accompanied by a loud roaring noise. On a local scale, it is the most destructive of all atmospheric phenomena.
  • Severe Thunderstorm: A thunderstorm that produces a tornado, winds of at least 58 mph (50 knots), and/or hail at least 1" in diameter. Structural wind damage may imply the occurrence of a severe thunderstorm. A thunderstorm wind equal to or greater than 40 mph (35 knots) and/or hail of at least ½" is defined as approaching severe.
  • Flash Flood: A flood which is caused by heavy or excessive rainfall in a short period of time, generally less than 6 hours. Also, at times a dam failure can cause a flash flood, depending on the type of dam and time period during which the break occurs.

Please include in your report, the location (town and county) and time/date that the severe weather occurred.

If you can supply a picture of the severe weather you are experiencing, please do.




How to report severe weather:

1) Online

2) Facebook

3) Twitter

4) Email at:

5) Toll free number 1-800-889-6889



Newport District SKYWARN (Eastern North Carolina)

SKYWARN National Page

SKYWARN Spotter Guide



YouTube Training


Basic SKYWARN (Parts 1 through 7)

Watch all 7 videos and instructions on how to receive your certificate.




Watch either video below on how to receive your certificate. 



Find us on social media:

You can also contact:

Erik Heden ( for additional information about SKYWARN.



 Harkers Island, NC.  Picture Credit: Chuck Laughridge.