National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

To effectively warn for the protection of life and property, the National Weather Service must have a thorough handle on current weather conditions throughout the region.   Unfortunately, long distances separate National Weather Service offices.   Although weather satellites and Doppler Weather Radar use the latest technology to provide a wealth of information to forecasters, no tool has yet been developed that can replace a human observation of the weather in a local area at a specific time.

You can help!  By alerting us to significant weather events, you become the "eyes and ears" of the National Weather Service in your area and help us determine when and where we need to issue warnings.  Your participation in the SKYWARN® spotter program is entirely voluntary.  You are under no obligation and cannot be compensated.  However, your vigilance is greatly appreciated - it helps others and could save lives!


Training Methods

There are currently two ways you can become a SKYWARN® weather spotter for NWS Charleston, WV.  The primary method is by attending an in-person class or live webinar.  The secondary method is by watching a recorded webinar. 


Training Method #1:  Attending an In-Person Training Class or Live Webinar

The National Weather Service, in cooperation with county Emergency Management directors and/or civic groups, will typically hold several weather spotter classes each year.  Additional classes will be held by live online webinar.  A schedule of upcoming classes can be found below.  These classes are open to the public and free of charge. 

Note: These courses may be canceled or changed on short notice due to active weather. We will communicate these changes via this website and our social media channels.


Training Method #2:  Recorded Online Webinar

Prospective weather spotters, or spotters needing a refresher, who are unable to make it to an in-person training can watch the following recorded webinar which took place on March 31, 2020.  Viewing this webinar in its entirety and successfully completing the quiz will qualify you to be a weather spotter for NWS Charleston, WV. 

Please complete the Quiz after watching the video.

We will be notified after you have completed the quiz and will follow up with additional information.


Additional Resources for Spotters

Slides from 2021 Online Basic Weather Spotter Class (pdf)   Weather Spotter's Field Guide (pdf)   NOAA Cloud Chart (pdf)


Real-Time Severe Weather Information

Reporting Resources/Apps

Weather Safety Resources

Severe Weather History



For More Information and to Schedule a Class

If you would like additional information about the SKYWARN®  program or if you would like schedule a class and live in the NWS Charleston, WV County Warning Area, please contact: