Upcoming SKYWARN Classes and Information


Online SKYWARN Spotter Classes

This spring, NWS Birmingham will be conducting SKYWARN spotter classes in a slightly different fashion.  In addition to the classes scheduled in your local area and the end-of-season, online Graduate Storm Spotter class, we will also be conducting online Basic Spotter Courses throughout the month of February.  This will give the public the opportunity to become a SKYWARN Spotter without the confinement of having to attend a class during their busy work week.  Instead, interested individuals will be able to complete the course in the comfort of their own home 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 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.  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 or locally scheduled classes, to view the following FREE online training modules:
 
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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.
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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 Classes

To schedule a Spring 2012 local Basic Storm Spotter class in your area, please contact your county Emergency Management Office. The map below shows the locations for the currently scheduled classes in your local area:

 


View 2012 Spring Basic Spotter Classes in a larger map

 

Graduate Storm Spotter Class (GSC)

Recently, the National Weather Service in Birmingham has discontinued holding the Advanced Storm Spotter Courses around the central Alabama.  In its place, we are now offering a Graduate Spotter Class (GSC) which will be held twice a year after the completion of the Basic Spotter Classes each season.  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 delve 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 2012

Date/Time

County

Location

Sept 25
6 pm

Online Basic Training

Webinar
Click here to register
for Sept 25th class

Sept 27
6 pm

Online Basic Training

Webinar
Click here to register
for Sept 27th class

Oct 1
6 pm

Online Basic Training

Webinar
Click here to register
for Oct 1st class

Oct 4
6 pm

Online Basic Training

Webinar
Click here to register
for Oct 4th class

Oct 11
6 pm

Online Basic Training

Webinar
Click here to register
for Oct 11th class

Oct 15
6 pm

Online Basic Training

Webinar
Click here to register
for Oct 15th class

Oct 18
6 pm

Online Basic Training

Webinar
Click here to register
for Oct 18th class

Oct 22
6 pm

Online Basic Training

Webinar
Click here to register
for Oct 22nd class

Oct 23rd
6 pm

Online Basic Training

Webinar
Click here to register
for Oct 23rd class

Oct 30
6 pm

Online Basic Training

Webinar
Click here to register
for Oct 30th class

Nov 1
6 pm

Online Basic Training

Webinar
Click here to register
for Nov 1st class

Nov 15
6 pm

Graduate Spotter Class

Webinar
Click here to register
for the Graduate class
on November 15th
TBD means To Be Determined
Classes are ~2.0 hours long unless otherwise indicated

All times are Central unless otherwise noted

 

 

SKYWARN Facts

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


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