Becoming a Storm Spotter 
in the Quad Cities Service Area

So you are interested in becoming a storm spotter for the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities area. That's great!  Now you are wondering how to get started.  Well,  you've come to the right place!  Here are the steps: 



  1. Read some brief background about storm spotting.

About the Skywarn spotter program 
Frequently Asked Questions about Storm Spotting

  1. Attend a storm spotter training class. 

Schedule of Spotter Training Classes
Classes are free, last about 2 hours, and are open to the public.  In the  Quad Cities service area, spotter training classes are conducted from late February through early April.  No more than one class is conducted in each county, and scheduling of spotter training classes begins around the New Year.

  1. Learn what, when, and how to report, and how to stay safe while doing it. 
Spotter training classes cover the basics of severe weather, including storm structure, feature identification, spotter positioning, safety, and severe weather communication.
  1. Submit a form to become a storm spotter for the NWS Quad Cities.
Forms are available at each spotter training class.  By completing the form, you become a  registered NWS spotter.  This allows the NWS to call you for information about severe weather in your area.
  1. Find out about the local storm spotting network in your community, if you may join, and how to join.
If possible, attend a class in your local area so you will gain the most information about the Skywarn activities in your own community.  If you are not able to attend a class in your community, contact your county emergency manager to learn more about local storm spotting efforts.
  1. Retrain.
The NWS Quad Cities requires that spotters retrain every 2 to 4 years to remain active.

If you are a novice spotter who is considering mobile storm spotting, you may want to talk to your local emergency manager and find out if there are experienced spotters that you could partner with until you gain your own experience.

 Spotter Training class in Iowa City, IA
 Spotter Training Class in Iowa City, IA is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.