National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
How to become a Weather Spotter

Are you ready to become an official weather spotter?

First, you must be a resident of our spotter area, which includes Orange, San Diego, southwestern San Bernardino and western Riverside Counties.

Second, complete the required training.

Take these steps:

1) Take the online training which is approximately 1 hour long. The training can be taken at your pace or returned to at any time. Click the "Training Online Now" button below


2) Follow the link to the sign up application.

You must supply a valid email and phone number.  This must be done to complete certification and become an active spotter.

Weather Spotter and Skywarn Training in person:

Attend a spotter training presentation at our office or in various locations in our region. This training will go into further details about being a weather spotter and the local hazards in Southern California. The residence training is encouraged for all new spotters and for current weather spotters and Skywarn members as a refresher. Will be announced on Skywarn Facebook page and announced by Skywarn coordinators.

Provide the date and location of your residence training. You must supply a valid email and phone number.


Once the sign-up information is received in our office, we will assign you an official weather spotter identification number in about 2 weeks. Use this number along with your name and location when submitting reports online, or when calling our 800 number.

Additional training for Skywarn (note: you must still sign up through the above training link)

Benefits of being a weather spotter:

1. You will take part in helping to save lives and property, which is the primary mission of the National Weather Service.

2. You will receive the FREE quarterly newsletter Coast to Cactus, which will keep you informed about the spotter program, our local weather and the National Weather Service.

3. It Is free, satisfying, and exciting!

4. Receive a free new pocket weather guide and cloud chart at residence training!  Skywarn members can receive a decal for their vehicle.

5. Tours of the NWS office are offered to weather spotters.  Contact your county Skywarn coordinator or the NWS office (