SKYWARNTM FAQ


1. What is SKYWARNTM?

2. How do I become a SKYWARNTM spotter?

3. How much does it cost to become a SKYWARNTM spotter?

4. What NWS outreach is currently being offered?

5. Is there a minimum age limit to become a SKYWARNTM spotter?

6. When will the next SKYWARNTM spotter class be scheduled?



What is SKYWARNTM?
SKYWARNTM is a nationwide network of volunteer severe weather spotters. The program is an effort to save lives and property during severe or significant weather emergencies. All you need to do to become a member of the SKYWARNTM volunteer network is to attend a SKYWARNTM spotter training talk or complete the online training. SKYWARNTM spotters are an integral part of the detection and warning process. SKYWARNTM spotters assist the National Weather Service by providing information on what storms are actually doing (tress blown down, a tornado moving through the countryside, flood waters washing out a bridge or a dangerous glaze of ice on roads and wires). SKYWARNTM spotters are trained at spotting tornadoes, funnel clouds and severe thunderstorms. They are informed on how to report hail, strong winds, heavy rain, floods and heavy snow. Forecasters at the National Weather Service combine information from spotters with that from radar, satellite, lightning detection equipment and other tools to provide timely and accurate statements and warnings. SKYWARNTM volunteers include law enforcement personnel, emergency managers, amateur radio operators, the general public and others.

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How do I become a SKYWARNTM Spotter?
You can become a SKYWARNTM spotter by attending and understanding one of the several SKYWARNTM classes offered by the NWS Blacksburg. You can also complete the the online SKYWARNTM training as described here.

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How much does it cost to become a SKYWARNTM spotter?
There is no cost to attend SKYWARNTM spotter classes. $$ FREE $$

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What NWS outreach is currently being offered?
An easy to access summary of local training can be found on our main SKYWARNTM page. Or visit the NWS Activities page to look for events on a national level.

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Is there a minimum age limit to become a SKYWARNTM spotter?
We ask that SKYWARNTM spotters be at least 16 years old.

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When will the next SKYWARNTM spotter class be scheduled?
We don't know until they are first requested and then scheduled. Please keeping checking our list of classes for updates.

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If you have any additional questions about SKYWARNTM classes or being a spotter, please contact our Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Phil Hysell.


Return to Blacksburg's SKYWARNTM Spotter Page