You can help the National Weather Service spot dangerous weather with SKYWARN program

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 4:39 PM EST
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- With winter approaching, the National Weather Service has announced dates for their SKYWARN weather spotter training program.

SKYWARN is a national program through the Weather Service that trains private citizens on how to report weather to their respective weather offices.

Weather spotters are a huge help for local weather offices, said Jake Chalupsky of the Binghamton NWS. He said that the office relies on trained weather spotters because several areas in the County Warning Area just don’t have any automated stations giving data.

Spotters help meteorologists across the country by reporting severe conditions where they live. Even with the technology that the NWS has, it doesn’t catch everything, allowing for the trained spotters to fill in data gaps.

There are no requirements to become a SKYWARN spotter. Chalupsky said he has seen spotters as young as 12 to senior citizens over 90 years old take the course to become a spotter.

Chalupsky said that if you have a passion for weather, SKYWARN will help you learn more because the training dives into how to identify certain storm types, or what the processes are for how winter weather evolves.

If interested, a reservation is required. Some of the classes are offered online, while others are spread across NWS Binghamton’s coverage region.

For more information on SKYWARN, or to sign up to take the class, you can go to Binghamton’s office page here.