What is SKYWARN®?

Skywarn® is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National

Weather Service’s (NWS) severe weather spotting program with nearly 290,000 trained volunteers nationwide. Since the late 1960s, trained Skywarn® spotters have helped support the NWS’ primary mission of protecting life and property through the issuance of severe weather warnings.

These dedicated citizens help keep their local community safe by conveying severe weather reports to their local NWS Forecast Office. Skywarn® spotters are integral to the success of our Nation’s severe weather warning system. The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is a noncommercial membership organization of radio amateurs, organized for the promotion of interest in Amateur Radio.

The National Weather Service works with ARRL Section Amateur Radio Emergency Service volunteers at the local level to establish Skywarn® radio networks, and/or other specialized weather emergency alert and relief systems.

These local Skywarn® radio organizations act as communicators and spotters when severe weather and other disasters strike. The working partnership between NWS and ARRL is formally documented through a Memorandum of Understanding.

NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologists are responsible for maintaining this working partnership
with the local ARRL Skywarn® volunteers.