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Hazardous Heat Across the Western US into the Northern Plains; Heavy Rain and Flooding Possible in the South

Hazardous heat will persist over much of interior California, the central Great Basin, northern Rockies and Northern Plains into Thursday. Heavy to excessive rainfall will persist across the Southeast US. through mid-week. The Southwest Monsoon will continue to bring a flash flooding threat to the Four Corners Region this week. Read More >


NWS Fort Worth Skywarn Program
About SKYWARN Training Schedule Training Certificates Submit Report More Resources

What is SKYWARN®?

A picture of a storm approaching NWS Fort Worth with a large shelf cloud.The effects of severe weather are felt every year by many Americans. In most years, thunderstorms, tornadoes and lightning caused hundreds of injuries and deaths and billions in property and crop damages.  To obtain critical weather information, the National Weather Service (NWS) established SKYWARN® with partner organizations. SKYWARN® is a citizen volunteer program with between 350,000 and 400,000 trained severe weather spotters. SKYWARN® storm spotters are citizens who form the nation's first line of defense against severe weather. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports oA picture of Amateur Radio operators working HAM radios at NWS Fort Worth.f severe weather to the National Weather Service.

Although SKYWARN® spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of a SKYWARN® spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms. In an average year, the the United States experiences more than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes.

Since the program started in the 1970s, the information provided by SKYWARN® spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods. Storm spotters play a critical role because they can see things that radar and other technological tools cannot, and this ground truth is critical in helping the NWS perform our primary mission, to save lives and property.

The SKYWARN® Program at NWS Fort Worth

Many people ask how they can become a member of SKYWARN. In most cases, SKYWARN isn't really something you join, but instead is a concept based on having citizen volunteers help their community and the NWS by observing and reporting hazardous weather occurring in their area. Anyone can be a storm spotter and submit reports directly to the NWS. If you are interested in becoming a member of an official local SKYWARN storm spotter network, you'll probably want to contact your city or county emergency management office for information. Many communities have organized networks of storm spotters, often made up of amateur radio operators, fire departments, law enforcement or other volunteers. These local networks may have very specific training and membership requirements, so check with your local officials to see how you might be able to get involved.

A picture of a SKYWARN class with attendees.Every year, NWS Fort Worth conducts over two dozen SKYWARN classes within our coverage area of 46 counties in North and Central Texas. These classes are usually held between January and March, before the spring severe weather season. A listing of upcoming SKYWARN classes can be found under the Training Schedule tab above. Each class is free and open to all ages. There is no pre-registration (except for virtual classes), and you do not have to be a resident of a specific county to attend any of our SKYWARN classes.

The SKYWARN presentation covers severe thunderstorm characteristics, cloud formations, identifying the different threats associated with severe storms, how to report, and basic weather safety. We strongly recommend everyone attend a SKYWARN presentation at least once a year to refresh on these concepts. If needed, training certificates are provided at each class. We do not issue Spotter IDs.