Frequently Asked Questions

Who can be a spotter?

Anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication can join the SKYWARN® program. Volunteers include amateur radio operators, law enforcement and fire personnel, emergency medical services workers, dispatchers, postal workers, public utility workers, city or county workers, farmers, and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes, or who have a responsibility for protecting others are encouraged to become a spotter.

Is there a minimum age requirement to become a Spotter?

Because of the complexity of severe thunderstorms and the potential dangers involved, spotting is recommended for adults (18 yrs or older). High school and middle school students are welcome to attend the classes with a parent or other adult.

Is there a cost for training?

Nope! Both National Weather Service (NWS) SKYWARN® classroom training and online courses are offered free of charge!

Will I get an official ID, Certificate, or Spotter number?

We do not issue Spotter IDs or collect any sort of membership dues. Some of the recommended training programs do issue certificates for completing the program.