SKYWARN Spotter Training...

The effects of severe weather are felt every year by many Americans. 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.  Spotters generally report significant events such as damaging winds, heavy rain, tornadic activity, ice and snow, along with other events that have an impact on the forecast or the safety of the community.  Additional information can be found on the national SKYWARN® page.

To become a trained SKYWARN® spotter, you will need to attend a SKYWARN® Weather Spotter class.  NWS Jackson, KY will typically hold several classes across eastern Kentucky throughout the year.  A schedule of upcoming classes can be found below. Unless otherwise stated, these classes are open to the public, are free of charge, and require no registration. 

The following resources are also available to assist weather spotters who have already attended a SKYWARN® Weather Spotter class:

  • Weather Spotter's Field Guide (pdf. 26.57 MB)
  • Role of the SKYWARN® Spotter Training Module (offered through UCAR's MetEd program) - The goal of the "Role of the SKYWARN® Spotter" module is to provide baseline training for all spotters through multiple scenarios covering the procedures for spotting (including communication and storm report criteria), safety considerations for all hazards, and an overview of the national program and its history.
  • SKYWARN® Spotter Convective Basics Module (offered through UCAR's MetEd program) The "SKYWARN® Spotter Convective Basics" module will guide users to a basic understanding of convective storms. Through three different scenarios, you will cover reporting and proper communication of local storm reports to the National Weather Service (NWS), personal safety during these events, and field identification of convective storm hazards. After completing the scenarios, you will be given the opportunity to practice identifying storm features from a spectrum of photos.

For further information please contact our Warning Coordination Meteorologist, or give us a call at 606-666-2560 ext. 726. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.