How to become a SKYWARN storm spotter
The National Weather Service Office in Tampa has opened registration for the next round SKYWARN storm spotter training.
This is a volunteer network of weather enthusiasts and community-oriented citizens who commit to taking a weather training course and then during times of weather, report to the NWS via the network.
“The program is open to all. This is basic training and focuses on weather safety and how to report to the National Weather Service in Ruskin,” Warning Coordination Meteorologist Dan Noah said.
No formal degree or college-level training in meteorology is required to become part of the program.
Being at least 18 years old and having an interest in weather and serving the community is all you’ll need to get started. From there, you’ll sign up for a training class, and then every 3 years take a refresher course to remain active in the program.
Two opportunities for online training are available from the Tampa NWS office this month.
The first is on Thursday, April 22 from 1 to 2 p.m.
Since this training is being run by the Tampa National Weather Service office, people who become part of this SKYWARN network must live in that office’s coverage area which in Southwest Florida includes Lee County, Charlotte County and DeSoto County.
Residents of Collier County, Hendry County and Glades County are under the jurisdiction of the National Weather Service office in Miami. Training for residents of those counties will be announced at a later date.
Training with the SKYWARN spotter network includes topics like: basics of thunderstorm development, fundamentals of storm structure, identifying potential severe weather features, what information to report and how to get it to the NWS, and severe storm safety.
After working with the NWS on what to look for during bad weather, your storm reports will help in issuing severe warnings when necessary for our area, helping to alert the community faster in times of severe weather.
For additional information on how to get started, visit the NWS Tampa bay SKYWARN Program website here.