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Boise, Idaho
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SKYWARNTM Spotter Program
What is SkywarnTM?
     SkywarnTM is a National Weather Service (NWS) program of trained volunteer severe weather spotters. SkywarnTM volunteers support their local community and government by providing the NWS with timely and accurate severe weather reports. These reports, when integrated with modern NWS technology, are used to inform communities of the proper actions to take as severe weather threatens. The key focus of the SkywarnTM program is to save lives and property through the use of the observations and reports of trained volunteers.

SkywarnTM Training


March 19, 2015




Meridian, ID

Excellent training is available online at JetStream - Online School for Weather

What does a SkywarnTM Spotter report?
     Although all reports are welcome, the National Weather Service in Boise is particularly interested in the weather elements described below.

Weather Phenomena Call The NWS if...
Wind 40 mph or stronger
Hail 3/4 inch (penny size) or larger in diameter
Tornado Any tornado or rotating cloud
Flooding Any significant amount of water in normally dry areas
River Flooding Any river rising above their normal bank level
Heavy Rain Rain rates of 1 inch per hour or greater
And - Rain greater than 1 inch in 24 hours
Heavy Snow Call while snowing at a rate of 1 inch per hour or greater
And - Call with total snow fall if >= 1 inch accumulates when the snow ends
Low Visibilities Visibility less than 1/2 mile due to fog, dust, rain, or snow
Freezing Rain Any freezing rain

How Do I Become a SkywarnTM Weather Spotter?
     The National Weather Service welcomes volunteers with an interest in severe weather spotting. Since the NWS instituted the SkywarnTM Program, there has been a significant decrease in the death rate due to tornadoes and other severe weather. The SkywarnTM program is completely voluntary. You may have the opportunity to call our office several times a season depending on the weather pattern in your neck-of-the-woods. If you agree, we may occasionally call you for a "ground truth" as to what is actually happening near your house. Most likely our phone call will be to confirm an element of potentially severe thunderstorms, like large hail, or damaging wind. Other calls may be to verify heavy snowfall or peak wind speed associated with large winter storms. 
If you live in eastern Oregon or southwest Idaho and are interested in becoming a SkywarnTM spotter, please email

Spotter Newsletters
(These files are in Adobe Acrobat® format. The free reader/printer for these files is available from

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US Dept of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
Boise Weather Forecast Office
NIFC Building 3807
Boise, ID 83705-5354

Tel: (208) 334-9860

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