Fall 2017 National Weather Service – SKYWARN® Classes & Information!

**ATTENTION: All Online Classes Now Conducted Using Join.Me**

Online SKYWARN Spotter Classes

The National Weather Service is offering several ONLINE Basic Spotter Courses and a single Advanced Spotter Course this fall. These online classes allow individuals to complete the course(s) in the comfort of their own home or office with the use of join.me, 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. To see when these classes will be held, scroll down or click here. We typically host a LIVE Basic Storm Spotter Class in Elmore County in the February/March time frame of the year. To find information about when we will host this Basic Storm Spotter class, please contact at (334) 567-6451.

To attend any online course:

 Visit Join.me  

  1.  Select the green button located on the right of the webpage labeled ‘Join Meeting.’
  2.  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 attendScroll down to the class schedule or click here to retrieve your code.

Fall Online Courses:

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, the NWS requires 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 Join.me 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:

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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.

Graduate Storm Spotter Class (GSC)

The Graduate Spotter Class (GSC) will be held twice a year after the completion of the Basic Spotter Classes each spring and fall.  The GSC will be completed over the Internet via join.me. Follow along as one of the NWS Meteorologists delves deep into the world of Meteorology. 

Central Alabama SKYWARN Spotter Class Schedule for Fall 2017.  


Class / County

Session Code
Enter Code at www.join.me.
Please Read Instructions Above.
Wednesday, Sept 27 @ 6:30PM
Forecaster Satterwhite
Basic Online 504-683-535
Wednesday, Oct 04 @ 1PM
Forecaster Holmes
Basic Online 337-446-995
Tuesday, Oct 17 @ 1PM
Forecaster Davis
Basic Online 710-382-215
Thursday, Oct 19 @ 6:30PM
Forecaster Davis
Basic Online 696-520-589
Tuesday, Oct 24 @ 6:30PM
Forecaster Satterwhite
Advanced Online 495-345-822
TBD means To Be Determined
Classes are ~2.0 hours long unless otherwise indicated
All times are Central unless otherwise noted


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.

Registration will be conducted prior to the beginning of each class.  Spotter classes are not usually held during the summer months.  Additional spotter classes may not be shown in the table above when scheduled for specific groups such as law enforcement training classes.

Spotter Information

*In Adobe PDF format, a free download.

Additional Links