National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Severe Storm Spotter Training


August 11, 2020 Update:  No additional spotter talks are scheduled at this time for  2020. However, you can view recordings of the virtual Basic Spotter Training and the Advanced Spotter Training sessions at the links below:

Basic Spotter Training YouTube recording

Advanced Spotter Training YouTube recording





(YouTube Spotter Talk - 11 minutes)


‚ÄčThe class provides a basic understanding of thunderstorm structure, spotting techniques, reporting criteria, safety information and procedures. If you have any questions concerning the spotter training sessions offered by the National Weather Service, please email Brian Smith, Warning Coordination Meteorologist. The video above are highlights of topics that will be covered in the presentations. There are also online spotter courses that are available from the link below as well as an online field guide and cloud chart that can be downloaded for free.

  • Additional classes may be added. Please check back for updates.
  • All classes last around 1 1/2 hours.
  • Classes are free and open to the public.
  • Classes are appropriate for all ages. Ages 10 and up will likely get the most out of the training.
  • Pre-registration is NOT required unless specifically noted for a particular class.  
  • Classes are scheduled in collaboration with county emergency management officials.
  • You may attend a class in any location, offered by any NWS office, regardless of where you live.  

Weather Spotter's Field Guide - pdf file 

Skywatcher Cloud Chart - pdf file

Skywarn Spotter Online Training Modules