National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

               Spotter Resource Page

                           Send Spotter Reports

This website is an easy method to send spotter reports online through your computer!
You have to be a registered weather spotter for the Inland Northwest to gain access to the system. 


Weather Spotter Sign up Form        Virtual Training - Dec 2018 notes new

Weather Spotter Checklist

Training Schedule   new 2019 dates

Ways to be a Weather Volunteer

Virtual Training - June 2017

Weather Watcher Newsletter

Latest NWS Storm Reports

 

What is an NWS Weather Spotter?
The National Weather Service in Spokane is constantly looking for volunteers who would like to become weather spotters. Weather spotters provide 'on the spot' weather reports -- which cannot be replaced by other means. These weather reports greatly assist the National Weather Service in determining the strength of a storm and its effects on the surrounding area.

 

What Kind of Weather Do Spotters Report?
Most people think weather spotters are only useful to the National Weather Service during thunderstorm season. However, spotters are vital to the year-round operations of the National Weather Service. For example, reports of freezing rain, snow and flooding are equally useful to forecasters. Use the local NWS Spokane - Spotter Checklist  to see what types of weather is important to report. For a current list of any severe reports, please see the Latest NWS Spotter Storm Reports

 

Where are weather spotters needed?
The National Weather Service is always recruiting new weather spotters in all parts of the Inland Northwest. There is currently a large concentration of spotters in the bigger cities of the region; like the Spokane metro area, Coeur d'Alene, Wenatchee, Lewiston, Moses Lake, and Pullman. There is a big need for spotters in many of the data sparse areas of the Columbia Basin and the northern Mountains. Overall, we welcome spotters from every county across the Inland Northwest.

In eastern Washington, this includes the counties of: Adams, Asotin, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Garfield, Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens & Whitman.  

In north Idaho, this includes the counties of: Boundary, Bonner, Kootenia, Benewah, Shoshone, Latah, Nez Perce & Lewis.

 

So How Do You Become a Weather Spotter? 
Simply contact the NWS. 
Please include your name, address, phone number, elevation and distance from town. You can use this FORM to assist you. 

Email: nws.spokane@noaa.gov                  Phone: 509-244-6395

After the information is processed, you will receive a personal identification number in the mail or email. Then you will be able to provide official spotter reports via our toll free number or with our online spotter reporting system. The most important types of weather to report to the National Weather Service include snow, flooding, heavy rain, wind damage, hail and tornadoes/funnel clouds. 

All spotters are given a personal identification number so that we may quickly identify them and their location on our workstations. We occasionally call our spotters at home to help assess weather situations -- and give us an 'eyes on' view of the weather in their area. 

Our weather spotters also receive a copy of our quarterly newsletter, The Inland Northwest Weather Watcher. We also encourage our weather spotters to send in interesting weather stories and pictures to be included in the newsletter.

 

What about Weather Spotter Training? 
Spotter training sessions are important and needed to stay current on severe weather spotting. The sessions are conducted by the National Weather Service throughout the year. It is an opportunity for spotters to review basic spotter techniques and weather safety concerns. A list of spotter training will be posted on the NWS Spokane web page. In addition, an ONLINE recorded Spotter training is available locally under the Virtual Spotter training and nationally under the COMET MetEd web site

 

Additional Weather Spotter Resources


NWS SKYWARN national page

Storm Prediction Center - latest outlook and watches for severe weather

CoCoRaHS - Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network - precipitation reporting

COMET MetEd weather spotter courses

Weather Spotter's Field Guide  
 

Sky Watcher Chart