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.
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