2016 SKYWARN Classes and Information

Online SKYWARN Spotter Classes

In addition to the classes scheduled in your local area and the end-of-season, online Graduate Storm Spotter class, we will continue to conduct ONLINE Basic Spotter Courses.  These online classes will allow individuals to complete the course in the comfort of their own home or office with the use of Go-To Meeting, a very user-friendly computer program. By simply signing up for the class, downloading the FREE software, and attending the 1.5 - 2 hour class, individuals (or a group of individuals) will become SKYWARN Spotters.  The only requirement will be speakers on your computer to listen and if you want to ask questions, you will need to have a VOIP microphone. Additionally, they can be viewed on Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone and Android. To see when these classes will be held, scroll down or click here.

Though not a requirement, as a warm up to the spotter classes, NWS Birmingham would like those who plan on attending the online classes, or even our locally scheduled classes, to view the following FREE online training modules:
MetEd Image

The "Role of the SKYWARN® Spotter" module is used 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.
MetEd Image
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.

Locally Scheduled Basic SKYWARN Spotter Classe

Local, or on-site, basic storm spotter classes are scheduled each spring and fall.  We coordinate on-site classes with the local county Emergency Management Agency. Currently, we only have a couple on-site classes scheduled for the spring. Any additional classes will be added as they are scheduled. 

Graduate Storm Spotter Class (GSC)

The Graduate Spotter Class (GSC) will be held twice a year after the completion of the Basic Spotter Classes each spring and fall.  The GSC will be completed over the internet by way of a Webinar.  Webinar allows you to sign on to the website and follow along as one of the NWS Meteorologists delves deep into the world of Meteorology. This will require you to have speakers on your computer. During and afterwards, you will be able to ask questions directly to the NWS Meteorologist, so a microphone is suggested, but not required.

Central Alabama SKYWARN Spotter Class Schedule for Spring 2016


Class / County

Feb 2
6:30 PM CST
Online Basic Training CANCELLED
Feb 11
6:30 PM CST

Online Basic Training Webinar
Click Here to Sign Up
for the Basic Class

Feb 17

Online Basic Training Webinar
Click Here to Sign Up
for the Basic Class

Feb 22
6:30 PM CST

Online Basic Training Webinar
Click Here to Sign Up
for the Basic Class
Feb 23
 6:30 PM CST

Elmore County
Feb 25

Pike County
Pike County Health Dept.
Commission Meeting Room
900 S Franklin Dr.
Feb 29
6:30 PM CST

Graduate Online Class Webinar
Click Here to Sign Up
for the Graduate Class
Mar 17
 6:30 PM CDT

Elmore County
Millbrook Civic Center
3168 Park Circle
TBD means To Be Determined
Classes are ~2.0 hours long unless otherwise indicated

All times are Central unless otherwise noted




SKYWARN is the National Weather Service (NWS) program of trained volunteer weather spotters.  Storm spotters come from many walks of life, including fire fighters, law enforcement, and amateur radio operators.  SKYWARN spotters coordinate with local emergency management officials and send reports of weather based phenomena to the NWS.

In addition to serving as a community's first line of defense against dangerous storms, spotters provide important information to warning forecasters who make critical warning decisions.  SKYWARN storm spotters play a critical role of giving the NWS vital ground truth data, which helps the NWS perform its primary mission, to save lives and property.

Registration will be conducted prior to the beginning of each class.  Spotter classes are not usually held during the summer months.  Additional spotter classes may not be shown in the table above when scheduled for specific groups such as law enforcement training classes.


Spotter Information


Additional Links

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.