You Could Become A Weather Spotter!

Posted at 1:29 PM, Mar 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-28 13:56:37-04

If you’ve ever wanted to be on the front line reporting severe weather, then here’s your chance. The National Weather Service Wakefield Office will be providing a virtual SKYWARN Training class online to the public for the first time. The class begins this evening, Thursday, March 28th, at 6 p.m.

NWS Wakefield Meteorologist in Charge Jeff Orrock told NewsChannel 3 by phone that his office offered the class online to a closed group of about 45 people earlier this year. And because of its success, the office decided to open the training to the public tonight.


So what is SKYWARN? Glad you asked….

SKYWARN is a nationwide program that started in the 1970s.  It’s made up of volunteers who help keep communities safe, providing timely and accurate reports to the National Weather Service during severe weather events like tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and flash floods. There are nearly 290,000 trained weather spotters all over the country. Over the years, SKYWARN volunteers have helped the NWS issue more timely warnings when severe weather strikes. Those warnings then help our team of meteorologists here at NewsChannel 3 help you stay safe.

The NWS encourages anyone to join the program, especially individuals who work or have an interest in public service or have access to communication. Classes are free, even online!  Just keep in mind that the training takes about 2 hours to complete.

The training covers the following topics: basic thunderstorm development, fundamentals of storm structure, identifying potential severe weather features, information to report, how to report information, and basic severe weather safety.

If you’d like to become a trained weather spotter through the NWS Wakefield office, click on the link below:

Sources:, National Weather Service Wakefield Office