Help Wanted: Be a NOAA National Weather Service Storm Spotter

Storm spotters.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA's National Weather Service meteorologists across the country could use a hand — or more precisely extra eyes — to help them produce the most accurate weather information possible. If you are fascinated by weather, you have the opportunity to become a trained volunteer SKYWARN® storm spotter for your local weather forecast office. 

Your Eyes on the Skies

Storm spotters provide valuable information on all types of weather hazards to meteorologists in their local National Weather Service forecast offices. Meteorologists use this information, especially when it comes to severe storms, to create a more complete picture of area weather conditions.

The SKYWARN program helps improve the timeliness and accuracy of weather warnings. When coupled with Doppler radar imagery, satellite and other data, reports from storm spotters help forecasters know exactly what is happening on the ground with rapidly developing storms.

Storm spotter training.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

“The more lead time we can provide with our warnings, the more time people have to take cover from life-threatening storms,” says Christopher Maier, who oversees the national SKYWARN program.

Training in Your Area

You can take storm spotter training through your local weather forecast office. Classes are free and each last about two hours. Covered topics include thunderstorm development, storm structure, severe weather features, weather reporting, and weather safety.

To find out when classes are offered in your area, contact your local weather forecast office. NOAA logo.