National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


SKYWARN is a National Weather Service (NWS) program that helps critical severe weather information from local organizations and private citizens reach the NWS and local officials.  Skywarn volunteers receive training in severe storm identification and safety, and when severe weather threatens, they become "storm spotters", reporting information in real-time to their local officials and/or the local NWS office. Storm spotters efforts help save lives.  Their information, when combined with technology such as radar, satellite, lightning displays, as well as a better understanding of severe storms and their environment, helps NWS meteorologists in their primary mission: the issuance of warnings for the protection of life and property. NWS Chanhassen will recommend spotter activation if we anticipate there will be warnings for a county, thereby enabling spotters to be in place before storms become severe.

Skywarn classes are generally held from late February to mid May. A list of spotter classes is available on this web site and are posted if classes have been requested in the local community. To become a member of a Skywarn organization in your area, contact your county emergency manager or attend a spotter training class in your area for more information.  Spotters need not be amateur radio operators, but it helps for many reasons, including the rapid relay of reports. 

If you are an amateur radio operator, the map below shows how severe weather information is communicated from local Skywarn groups to NWS Chanhassen, which has its own call sign, K0MPX. A hub and spoke system is used such that local Skywarn nets are held on their local "spoke" repeater by their local Skywarn group, and this information is then passed to K0MPX over one of the "hubs" by their net control operator. In general, reports from individual spotters are not directly taken by the NWS, but instead are forwarded on a "hub" by the local net control station. In this way, the operators at K0MPX can monitor a few certain repeaters rather than dialing around to whatever local nets may be active and potentially missing activity on other repeaters. During times when there are no amateur radio operators at K0MPX, local groups can relay their infomation to the NWS via telephone or NWS Chat.

MPX Skywarn Map

If you have any questions about our Skywarn program, please email


Preparedness Guide for Thunderstorms, Tornadoes and Lightning

Steele County Skywarn

Sogn Valley Skywarn (Goodhue County)

Rice County Skywarn

Morristown Skywarn

Central Minnesota Skywarn

Kanabec Area Skywarn

Metro Skywarn