National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

The National Weather Service needs volunteers to provide severe weather reports. Spotters relay their reports to the Weather Service as they see it. This information is used by forecasters to track storms and alert the public to dangerous weather situations. Time and time again, reports from trained weather spotters have saved countless lives, especially during heavy rain, thunderstorms and wind storms.

Our spotter program is informal. Spotters may continue their daily routine and work schedule. They do not need to notify us when they are on vacation.

The National Weather Service, in cooperation with local Emergency Management, will hold spotter training classes annually  at the locations and times in the table below. This two-hour course will include information about the National Weather Service, tornadoes, thunderstorms, flash floods, dust storms, high winds and winter storms. Students who complete the course will receive a training certificate and become a part of our crucial storm observing and reporting network.

If you enjoy watching the weather and wish to provide a valuable public service, this is the course for you. We look forward to meeting you!

Virtual Training

If you don't see a training that's close enough for you to attend, or simply don't have the time to go to an in-person session, don't worry, MetEd has developed a virtual option. Follow the steps below.

  1. Go to https://www.meted.ucar.edu/training_course.php?id=23 and take the two courses Role of a Skywarn Spotter and Skywarn Spotter Convective Basics. You may be required to create a login, but it's free and there is a ton of great training available!
  2. Once you've completed the training sessions, send certificates of completion to marcus.austin@noaa.gov and george.perry@noaa.gov. 
  3. When we receive your completion certificates, we will reach out to obtain some additional location and contact information. we will then issue your Spotter Training Certificate and Spotter ID, and provide useful Storm Spotter information.