What’s Skywarn?

What is a Storm Spotter?
The Skywarn™ spotter program is a nationwide network of volunteers trained by the National Weather Service (NWS) to report significant weather. Anyone is welcome to participate.

Why Skywarn™?
The NWS’s mission is to protect lives and property. When weather conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms or tornadoes are expected to develop, a severe thunderstorm or tornado WATCH is issued. A Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado WARNING is issued when severe weather has been reported by a Skywarn™ spotter or indicated by Doppler radar. Skywarn™ volunteers become the NWS’s eyes and ears, helping to provide better weather watch and warning services.

Who will activate Skywarn™?
The NWS and/or the local emergency management authorities may activate the Skywarn™ net whenever there is a threat of severe weather or the NWS issues a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch. In this case, information may be relayed through amateur radio repeaters. Localized events may be phoned directory to the NWS and/or local emergency management.

Where will Skywarn™ observations be taken?
Skywarn™ reports are relayed from on the road, while at work, or at your home. It is important not to jeopardize your own safety while participating in Skywarn™.

Skywarn™ and Amateur Radio Operators
HAM radio operators have a special place in the Skywarn™ program. NWS offices have HAM equipment on site. Skywarn™ nets run by the volunteer amateur radio net control operators allow for reports to be directly heard at National Weather Service offices.

Interested in becoming a National Weather Service Skywarn™ Storm Spotter?
Contact Perry Blackburn [CERT Coordinator]
t: 912.287.4454 or 912.287.4394
e: pblackburn@warecounty.com