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

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 Three Training Options to become a Spotter for NWS Tampa Bay

  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 ( Experimental for 2013 and 2014.

    • 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 2 to 3 weeks. 
  3. Take the MetEd SKYWARN Spotter online trainings above


 West Central and Southwest Florida SKYWARN Spotter Class Schedule
Trainings are open to the public unless otherwise stated



November 5, 2013 at 7 PM  Manatee County  Manatee County Emergency Operations Center
2101 47th Terrace East, Bradenton, FL  34203
November 13, 2013 at 6 PM Citrus County for the Community Emergency Response Team
Citrus County Emergency Operations Center
November 19, 2013 at 2 PM Highlands County Highlands County Agri-Civic Center  
4509 West George Blvd, Sebring, FL 33872
November 19, 2013 at 6 PM Highlands County Highlands County Agri-Civic Center  
4509 West George Blvd, Sebring, FL 33872
December 6, 2013 at 6 PM Hillsborough County Tampa Bay Hamfest
Madonia Agricultural Show Center
2508 West Oak Ave, Plant City, FL  33563
December 18, 2013 at 6 PM Pinellas County Technical Service's Building
6051 78th Ave North, Pinellas Park, FL   33781
February 28, 2014 at 10 AM Sumter County Busnell Community Center
407 E. Belt Ave, Bushnell, FL  33513

Email or call 352-569-1660
February 28, 2014 at 2 PM Sumter County The Villages Public Safety (Station 44)
3035 Morse Boulevard, The Villages, FL  32163
Email or call 352-569-1660
 March 10, 2014 at 6:30 PM  Hillsborough County Date changed to March 24 due to scheduling conflict
March 11, 2014 at 1:30 PM Lee County Tween Waters Resort - Ding Darling Room
15951 Captiva Drive, Captiva, FL
Ask front desk where room is
March 17, 2014 at 7 PM Highlands County Bert Harris Agricultural Center
4509 George Blvd, Sebring, FL  33875
March 18, 2014 at 6:30 PM Polk County

Sponsored by the Civil Air Patrol.  All are welcome
Polk County EOC
1890 Jim Keene Blvd, Winter Haven, FL  33880

March 24, 2014 at 6:30 PM Hillsborough County  Hillsborough Emergency Operations Center
2711 E Hanna Ave, Tampa, FL  33610
March 26, 2014 at 10 AM Charlotte County Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center
26571 Airport Road, Punta Gorda, FL  33982

RSVP at 941-833-4000 (almost full)
March 26, 2014 at 2 PM Charlotte County Englewood Community Hospital - Suncoast Auditorium
700 Medical Blvd, Englewsood, FL  34223

RSVP at 941-833-4000
April 8, 2014 at 10:00 AM Lee County Lee County Emergency Management
2675 Ortiz Avenue, Fort Myers, FL  33905
April 8, 2014 at 2:00 PM Lee County Cape Coral Yacht Club
5819 Driftwood Pkwy, Cape Coral, FL  33904
April 9, 2014 at 7 PM Lee County Village Walk Town Center
15291 Lattitude Drive, Bonita Springs, FL  34135
April 15, 2014 at 7 PM Hernando County Sponsored by the Spring Hill Amateur Radio Club. All are welcome.
Oak Hill Hospital at the Partner's Club behind the hospital
11375 Cortez Blvd, Brooksville, FL  34613
April 24, 2014 at 7:30 PM Pinellas County Sponsored by the Clearwater Amateur Radio Club. All are welcome.
Clearwater Fire Station 48
1700 North Belcher Road, Clearwater, FL  33765
May 5, 2014 at 7 PM Polk County Sponsored by the Lakeland Amateur Radio Club.  All are welcome.
Westminster Presbyterian Church
730 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland, FL  33801
May 28, 2014 at 1 PM Sarasota County Commission's Chambers at City Hall
4970 City Hall Blvd, North Port, FL  34286
June 27, 2014 at 3 PM Highlands County Highlands County Agri-Civic Center  - Room #2 
4509 West George Blvd, Sebring, FL 33872
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 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 encourged 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 about 2 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.