What is SKYWARN
effects of severe weather are felt every year by many Americans.
To obtain critical weather information, NOAA's
National Weather Service (NWS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, established
SKYWARN® with partner organizations.
is a volunteer program with nearly 290,000 trained severe weather spotters.
These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by
providing timely and accurate
reports of severe weather to the National
SKYWARN® spotters provide
essential information for all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of a
SKYWARN® spotter is to identify and describe severe
In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms,
floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States.
These events threatened lives and property.
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
and flash floods.
SKYWARN® storm spotters are part of the
ranks of citizens who form the Nation's first line of defense against
severe weather. There can be no finer reward than to know that their
have given communities the precious
gift of time--seconds and
minutes that can help save lives.
Who is Eligible?
NWS encourages anyone
15 years of age or older with an interest
in public service and access to communication, such HAM radio, to join
the SKYWARN® program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel,
dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned
Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools,
churches, nursing homes or who
have a responsibility for protecting
others are also encouraged to becomea spotter.
How Can I Get
NWS has 122 local Weather Forecast
Offices, each with a Warning Coordination Meteorologist, who is
responsible for administering the SKYWARN® program in their
Training is conducted at local offices and covers:
of thunderstorm development
of storm structure
potential severe weather features
to report information
severe weather safety
Classes are free and typically are
about five hours long. This includes both the basic & advanced
courses. To find out when a SKYWARN® class will be conducted in your local area, check out
Palm Beach County SKYWARN®
The Palm Beach County
SKYWARN® program is administered by the
National Weather Service Miami Office and coordinates with the Palm
Beach County Emergency Management Office.
SKYWARN® program in Palm Beach County is coordinated locally by
Maurice Dake, Amateur Radio call K9EE and coordinates all SKYWARN®
activities in Palm Beach County.
In 2009, due to the size of Palm Beach County, Maurice Dake and
Robert Molleda -NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist, created the
Western Palm Beach County SKYWARN® program. This
is to provide better
service in and from the western communities know as the
Ray Ruby Amateur Radio Call-WX4PBC is
the Assistant Palm Beach County
SKYWARN Coordinator which includes assisting
Hendry and Glades Counties.
SKYWARN® volunteers are licensed amateur radio operators.
These “ham” operators provide real time data to the Palm Beach
County SKYWARN repeater and the Palm Beach County Emergency Operations
Center or EOC.
You do not need to be an amateur radio operator to
become a part of the SKYWARN® program.
We hope to see you at an
and become a SKYWARN™ volunteer.
Neither PBC SKYWARN® or the National Weather Service promote
chasing or placing yourself in danger to gather weather information or
Weather Service SKYWARN Coordination Meteorologist
Robert Molleda teaching PBC Spotter Class PBC EOC Nov.3rd 2012
the PBC SKYWARN Information brochure
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