National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Hazardous Heat in the Western U.S.; Heavy Rain and Flooding Potential in the Southern Rockies

Widespread high temperatures in the 90s with heat indices exceeding 100 degrees will persist across the western U.S. this weekend into next week. Some daily high temperature records are forecast to be tied or broken. Monsoon conditions continue to linger across the Southern Rockies posing a heavy rainfall threat which may lead to additional flash flooding concerns. Read More >

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NWS Tampa Bay SKYWARN® Program 

The impacts of hazardous weather are experienced by many Americans each year. To obtain critical weather information, NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, established SKYWARN® with partner organizations. SKYWARN® is a volunteer program with nearly 290,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

Please see for information on amateur radio networks and frequencies



FREE SKYWARN Training Webinars & In-person Training



 In-person SKYWARN Training 

None currently scheduled


Virtual SKYWARN Training

Live Virtual SKYWARN Training
Tuesday, April 16, 2024 6:30-7:30 PM
Registration Link: 

Recorded 1-Hour Basic SKYWARN Training
View at NWS Tampa Bay SKYWARN Training
Must register with name and Email address to watch. Valid only for the 15 counties listed below


 Note:  all Advanced SKYWARN trainings use The Spotter Network or MetEd sites below


Other Training
Weather Workouts - a variety of topics local to Florida
Florida Tropical Training - learn about storm surge, flooding from heavy rain, hurricane wind, and tornadoes.



SKYWARN Certificate of Training is valid in the following Florida counties: 
Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Sumter, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee
Sarasota, Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Charlotte, and Lee.








Take One or Both of these FREE Online SKYWARN Spotter Trainings

Spotter Network logo
Do this training if you want to do SKYWARN for Smartphones

MetEd Logo


 Three Training Options to become a Spotter for NWS Tampa Bay.  Spotters should renew every 3 years.

  1. Attend an in-person training or participate in an online SKYWARN Webina

  2. Join the Spotter Network at

    • Create a free account
    • Take their SKYWARN Spotter online training and pass quiz to become a member
    • Click on "Member Networks" in left hand menu, then join "Tampa Bay, FL (NWS/TBW)" by clicking the red X to make it a green checkmark
    • If you would like to be a NWS Tampa Bay Spotter, send us an Email after you've joined our member network and we will send you information on how to get your Certificate. 
  3. Take the MetEd SKYWARN Spotter online trainings above

    • Click MetEd image above then create a free account
    • Start training then check box in MetEd to notify local National Weather Service of your training.
    • As a backup, Email your certificate(s) to 
    • We receive a list of those who have taken the training on the 1st and 15th of every month.



Volunteer as a SKYWARN Spotter for NWS Tampa Bay


NWS Tampa Bay requires SKYWARN Spotters to meet the following three requirements:

  • Live in or near west central or southwest Florida to receive an ID from NWS Tampa Bay.  Counties include Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Sumter, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, Sarasota, Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Charlotte, and Lee. If you live elsewhere, please contact your local NWS office for more information
  • Be at least 18-years-old. Those under 18 years of age are encouraged to take the training but can not receive an offical Spotter ID.
  • Take a SKYWARN training every 3 years to remain active in the program
  • Once trained, Spotters will receive a link to download the handouts
  • Amateur Radio:   Email questions, comments and suggestions to our webmaster at  Please see for more information on networks and frequencies in our area



Who is Eligible?
NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication, such HAM radio, to join the SKYWARN® program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter.


Links to Great Info on the Web

Did You Know...

  • that storm spotters were first used during WWII to alert the military artillery plants of approaching lightning?
  • that after WWII spotter networks were maintained for military installations?
  • that after the May 25, 1955 tornado in Udall, KS killed 80 people, the NWS decided to train their own severe weather spotters?
  • that the first spotter training course was held March 8, 1959 in Wellington, KS for 225 weather spotters?
  • that the Skywarn™ program was officially created in 1965?


How Can I Get Involved?


NWS has 122 local Weather Forecast Offices, each with a Warning Coordination Meteorologist, who is responsible for administering the SKYWARN® program in their local area. Training is conducted at these local offices and covers:
  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
  • Information to report
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety
Classes are free and typically are about two hours long. To find a class in your area:
  • Go to: and click on your state
  • When your state comes up, click on the name of your Weather Forecast Office
  • Once at your local WFO home page, in the blue bar on the left, look for the SKYWARN link to find a schedule of classes and other local information

Although SKYWARN® spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of a SKYWARN® spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms. In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States. These events threatened lives and property.

SKYWARN® storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the Nation's first line of defense against severe weather. There can be no finer reward than to know that their efforts have given communities the precious gift of time--seconds and minutes that can help save lives.

SKYWARN® is a registered trademark of NOAA's National Weather Service.  Rules for the usage of the SKYWARN® name and logo are available here.