What is SKYWARN?

SkywarnTM was formed in the early 1970's. They have historically provided critical severe weather information to the National Weather Service in time to get the appropriate warnings and watches issued. Thus, the key focus of the SkywarnTM program is to save lives and property through the use of observations and reports from trained volunteers.

SkywarnTM is the National Weather Service (NWS) program of trained volunteer weather spotters. Although SkywarnTM spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of a SkywarnTM spotter is to identify and describe local severe storms. In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorm, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States. These events threaten lives and property.

SkywarnTM volunteers support their local community and government by provided the NWS with timely and accurate severe weather reports. These reports, when integrated with modern NWS technology, are used to inform communities of the proper actions to take as severe weather threatens.You do not have to be a ham radio operator to be a SkywarnTM spotter, but you do need to take a SkywarnTM class. SkywarnTM classes are typically free and are about 2 hours long. To find out when a class will be conducted in the GSP area, please click here.

You do NOT have to be a ham radio operator to be a volunteer for SkywarnTM.

For further information about SkywarnTM please go to


Blue Ridge Weather Watch - E-Mail: WX4BRW at thebrww dot org