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SKYWARN TM Spotter Program
What is Skywarn TM ?
     Skywarn TM is a National Weather Service (NWS) program of trained volunteer severe weather spotters. Skywarn TM 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 Skywarn TM program is to save lives and property through the use of the observations and reports of trained volunteers.

Skywarn TM Training Schedule
     The latest training schedule updated semi-annually (spring and fall).

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

Weather Phenomena Call The NWS if...
Wind 40 mph or stronger
Hail 1/2 inch (penny or dime size) or larger in diameter
Tornado Any tornado, funnel cloud, or waterspout.
Also report frequent lightning or damaging thunderstorm winds.
Flooding Any significant amount of water in normally dry areas
River Flooding Any river rising above their normal bank level
Heavy Rain 1 inch or more within 12 hours
or 1/2 inch or more within 1 hour
Heavy Snow Any snow for the valleys/coast
4 inches or more in the mountains
Blowing Snow When winds are more than 30 mph
and visibility is less than 1/2 mile
Freezing Rain Any freezing rain
High Surf or Tides Any surf or high tides that are causing beach erosion
Volcanic Activity or Earthquakes Any volcanic activity or earthquakes

View the Weather Spotter's Field Guide for More Information


How do I submit a report?
     Find out at one of the training sessions or submit a report using our new electronic reporting system.



How Do I Become a Skywarn TM Weather Spotter?
The National Weather Service welcomes volunteers with an interest in severe weather spotting. Since the NWS instituted the Skywarn TM Program, there has been a significant decrease in the death rate due to tornadoes and other severe weather. The Skywarn TM 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 interested please email Liana Ramirez


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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
Portland Weather Forecast Office
5241 NE 122nd Avenue
Portland, OR 97230-1089

Tel: (503) 261-9246

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