Skywarn LogoNWS Tampa Bay SKYWARN® Program 

The impacts of hazardous weather are experienced by many Americans each year. 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.

Please see for information on amateur radio networks and frequencies


Take One or Both of these FREE Online SKYWARN Spotter Trainings

Spotter Network logo
Do this training if you want to do SKYWARN for Smartphones (Experimental)

MetEd Logo

 Three Training Options to become a Spotter for NWS Tampa Bay.  Spotters should renew every 3 years.

  1. Attend an in-person training (see schedule below)

    • These are few and far between and run from October through April
    • We do our best to do a training in each county every year 
  2. Join the Spotter Network at

    • Create an account
    • Take their SKYWARN Spotter online training and pass quiz to become a member
    • Click on "Member Networks" in left hand menu, then join "Tampa Bay, FL (NWS/TBW)"
    • If you would like a NWS Tampa Bay Spotter ID, send us an Email after you've joined our member network and we will mail it out in 1 to 3 weeks. 
  3. Take the MetEd SKYWARN Spotter online trainings above

    • Email your county location and both certificates to both and
    • Check box to notify local WFO
    • It may take 1 to 3 weeks to receive your Spotter ID, but we will acknowledge your Email when we receive it


 West Central and Southwest Florida SKYWARN Spotter Class Schedule

Training is free an open to the public. No registration needed unless otherwise noted.



 Oct 1 at 10 am
Punta Gorda Boat Club
802 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL  33950
Sponsored by Peace River Sail and Power Squadron
Oct 14 at 7 pm
American Red Cross Building
2001 Cantu Court, Sarasota, FL  34232
Sponsored by Sarasota Emergency Radio Club
Oct 15 at 1 pm DeSoto DeSoto County Emergency Operations Center
2200 NE Roan Street, Arcadia, Florida 34266
 Nov 12 at 7 pm
Levy County Emergency Operations Center
9010 NE 90th Place, Bronson, FL  32621
Dec 1 at 7 pm Polk Polk County Emergency Operations Center
1890 Jim Keene Blvd, Winter Haven, FL  33880
Dec 4, 2015 6-10 pm
Dec 5, 2015 9 am-6 pm
NWS Ruskin 
SKYWARN Recognition Day
2525 14th Ave SE, Ruskin, FL  33570
 Dec 12, 2015 3-4:30 pm  Hillsborough Tampa Bay Hamfest at Agricultural Show Center
2508 W. Oak Avenue, Plant City, Florida 33563
Dec 15, 2015 7 pm Pinellas Pinellas County Emergency Management
10750 Ulmerton Rd, Building 1, Suite 267, Largo, FL 33778
Jan 7, 2016 at 1 pm Hernando Hernando County Emergency Operations Center
18900 Cortez Blvd, Brooksville, FL  34601
Register with Dan Santana at 352-754-4083 
Jan 7, 2016 at 6 pm Sumter

 Sumter County Emergency Operations Center
1010 North Main St, Bushnell, FL  33513
Register at or 352-748-3645
Sponsored by Hog County Amateur Radio Association

Jan 19, 2016 at 10 am
The Villages Emergency Operation Center
3035 S Morse Blvd, The Villages, FL  32163
Register at 352-205-8280 - EOC Office
First roundabout south of CR #466A on Morse Blvd
Jan 28, 2016 at 2 pm Charlotte Charlotte County Public Safety Complex
Emergency Operations Center
26571 Airport Road, Punta Gorda, FL  33982
To RSVP call 914-833-4000. Course limited to first 50 people

 Feb 2, 2016 at 10 am


 Cape Coral Emergency Operations Center
1150 SE 9th Ave, Cape Coral, FL  33990

Classes are 1.5 to 2 hours long unless otherwise indicated. Questions? Contact


Volunteer as a SKYWARN Spotter for NWS Tampa Bay

  • NWS Tampa Bay requires SKYWARN Spotters to meet the following three requirements:
    • Live in or near west central or southwest Florida to receive an ID from NWS Tampa Bay. 
      • Counties include Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Sumter, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, Sarasota, Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Charlotte, and Lee.
      • If you live elsewhere, please contact your local NWS office for more information
    • Be at least 18-years-old.
      • Those under 18 years of age are encouraged to take the training but can not receive an offical Spotter ID.
    • Take a SKYWARN training every 3 years to remain active in the program
  • Once trained, Spotters will receive a letter or Email from our office in 1 to 3 weeks. Will include training certificate, Spotter ID Number, and an 800 number to call in reports
  • Amateur Radio




 Who is Eligible?

NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication, such HAM radio, to join the SKYWARN® program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter.
Links to Great Info on the Web

Did You Know...

  • that storm spotters were first used during WWII to alert the military artillery plants of approaching lightning?
  • that after WWII spotter networks were maintained for military installations?
  • that after the May 25, 1955 tornado in Udall, KS killed 80 people, the NWS decided to train their own severe weather spotters?
  • that the first spotter training course was held March 8, 1959 in Wellington, KS for 225 weather spotters?
  • that the Skywarn™ program was officially created in 1965?

How Can I Get Involved?
NWS has 122 local Weather Forecast Offices, each with a Warning Coordination Meteorologist, who is responsible for administering the SKYWARN® program in their local area. Training is conducted at these local offices and covers:

  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
  • Information to report
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety

Classes are free and typically are about two hours long. To find a class in your area:
  • Go to: and click on your state
  • When your state comes up, click on the name of your Weather Forecast Office
  • Once at your local WFO home page, in the blue bar on the left, look for the SKYWARN link to find a schedule of classes and other local information

Although SKYWARN® spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of a SKYWARN® spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms. In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States. These events threatened lives and property.

SKYWARN® storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the Nation's first line of defense against severe weather. There can be no finer reward than to know that their efforts have given communities the precious gift of time--seconds and minutes that can help save lives.

SKYWARN® is a registered trademark of NOAA's National Weather Service.  Rules for the usage of the SKYWARN® name and logo are available here. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.