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 http://weather.gov/tampa/?n=wx4tor for information on amateur radio networks and frequencies

 

Take One or Both of these FREE Online SKYWARN Spotter Trainings

Spotter Network logo
http://SpotterNetwork.org
Do this training if you want to do SKYWARN for Smartphones (Experimental)

MetEd Logo

https://www.meted.ucar.edu/training_course.php?id=23

 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 at http://SpotterNetwork.org

    • 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 daniel.noah@noaa.gov and jennifer.colson@noaa.gov
    • 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
Trainings are open to the public

Date/Time

County

Location
Dec 5, 7 pm to 10 pm
Dec 6, 8 am to 7 pm
Hillsborough

SKYWARN Recognition Day
National Weather Service Tampa Bay
2525 14th Ave SE, Ruskin, FL  33570
See http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mtr/hamradio for more info

Dec 12, 6-8 pm Hillsborough

Tampa Bay Hamfest
Stop by our booth and say Hi
Agricultural Show Center
2508 W. Oak Ave, Plant City, FL  33563

Classes are 1.5 to 2 hours long unless otherwise indicated. Questions? Contact daniel.noah@noaa.gov

 

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

 

 

SKYWARN FAQs

 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: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov/contact.htm 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.

 


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