Online SKYWARN Spotter Classes Start Tuesday Evening 9/18

| September 18, 2017 @ 10:13 am

From the National Weather Service in Birmingham…

We offer several ONLINE Basic Spotter Courses and a single Advanced Spotter Course each spring and fall. These online classes allow individuals to complete the course(s) in the comfort of their own home or office with the use of, a user-friendly web-based program. By attending any course, which runs about 1.5 – 2 hours, individuals (or a group of individuals) will become SKYWARN Spotters.

There are a total of 5 Basic SKYWARN Courses: 2 afternoon sessions and 3 evening sessions + 1 Advanced SKYWARN evening session. Unless you’d like to or are in need of a refresher, you do not need to attend more than one Basic SKYWARN Course, as the material covered is the same; however, we require you to attend at least one Basic SKYWARN Course before taking the Advanced SKYWARN Course.

The only setup requirements will be speakers to listen and, if you want to ask questions, a microphone. If you’d like to attend using your tablet, a app is available for download in the Google and Apple app store. These courses are TWO-WAY, meaning you will be able to interact with the meteorologist leading the training. You will be muted while training is in-progress, and unmuted when applicable (e.g., for questions).

Though not a requirement, as a warm up to the spotter classes, NWS Birmingham would like those who plan on attending the online classes, or even our locally scheduled classes, to view the following FREE online training modules:

The “Role of the SKYWARN® Spotter” module is used to provide baseline training for all spotters through multiple scenarios covering the procedures for spotting (including communication and storm report criteria), safety considerations for all hazards, and an overview of the national program and its history.

The “SKYWARN® Spotter Convective Basics” module will guide users to a basic understanding of convective storms. Through three different scenarios, you will cover reporting and proper communication of local storm reports to the National Weather Service (NWS), personal safety during these events, and field identification of convective storm hazards. After completing the scenarios, you will be given the opportunity to practice identifying storm features from a spectrum of photos.

Fall 2017 Spotter Training Class Schedule:
Basic Spotter – Tuesday, September 19 at 6:30 PM Session Code: 519-513-540
Basic Spotter – Wednesday, September 27 at 6:30 PM Session Code: 504-683-535
Basic Spotter – Wednesday, October 4 at 1:00 PM Session Code: 337-446-995
Basic Spotter – Tuesday, October 17 at 1:00 PM Session Code: 710-382-215
Basic Spotter – Thursday, October 19 at 6:30 PM Session Code: 696-520-589
Advanced Spotter – Tuesday, October 24 at 6:30 PM Session Code: 495-345-822

To attend any course:
• Visit
• Select the green button located on the right of the webpage labeled ‘Join Meeting.’
• You will then be prompted to enter a nine-digit code. The code corresponds to the time and date of the course you wish to attend. Codes are listed in the class schedule.

SKYWARN is the National Weather Service (NWS) program of trained volunteer weather spotters. Storm spotters come from many walks of life, including fire fighters, law enforcement, and amateur radio operators. SKYWARN spotters coordinate with local emergency management officials and send reports of weather based phenomena to the NWS.

In addition to serving as a community’s first line of defense against dangerous storms, spotters provide important information to warning forecasters who make critical warning decisions. SKYWARN storm spotters play a critical role of giving the NWS vital ground truth data, which helps the NWS perform its primary mission, to save lives and property.

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About the Author ()

Scott Martin is a meteorologist, graphic artist, musician, husband, and a father. Scott is a member of the National Weather Association and the Central Alabama Chapter of the National Weather Association. Scott is also the co-founder of Racecast Weather, which provides accurate forecasts for many racing series across the USA.

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