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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 rains and flooding, 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, normally holds spotter training classes annually at various locations across the region. These courses will include information about the National Weather Service, tornadoes, thunderstorms, flash floods, dust storms, high winds and winter storms. Those who complete the course will 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!


Upcoming Skywarn Opportunities

See the table below for upcoming Spotter Training Sessions. Each training lasts roughly 90 minutes, though sometimes they run a bit over depending on questions. Please register using the included links. Once you've completed the training and filled out our Spotter Questionnaire, we will issue your certificate and get you added to our database of weather spotters. Thanks for your interest in NWS Pendleton's spotter program!

Upcoming Spotter Training Opportunities
Date Time Facilitator Location Registration Link/Location
June 13th 6:30 PM Larry Nierenberg Benton County Emergency Services Building
651 Truman Avenue, Richland, WA 99352
Click Here

Online Training Course

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 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 the appropriate NWS forecast office. You can find your nearby NWS contacts listed by state on this page
  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.