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Sacramento, California
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Weather Spotters

We are currently seeking volunteers to be SKYWARN Weather Spotters for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Sacramento. Weather Spotters act as the eyes of the National Weather Service, reporting severe weather to forecasters to improve warnings and forecasts. We are especially interested in people who live at higher elevations (2000 feet and above) and in rural areas. These areas have few spotters, while urban locations are generally well covered.

Spotter training classes are offered periodically at various locations in the area. The training is taught by National Weather Service forecasters and takes approximately 2 1/2 hours. The classes are generally offered on week-nights. We strongly encourage volunteers to attend these classes to become weather spotters.

The online Spotter Exam can be taken by those who wish to become weather spotters, when in-person training classes are not immediately available. It is recommended that volunteers take training classes when they are offered, for more comprehensive training in weather spotting. If you take the online exam, please review the educational resources first, including the Basic Spotter Guide. Additional information will be mailed after you pass the exam.

Spotter reports can be called in via our toll free number (available in spotter packages) and should be used for urgent information. Less critical and timely information (for example, rainfall amounts less than half an inch, very small hail pellets) can be sent in via the web at:

Spotter Reporting Resources

Spotter Checklist (Guide of what to report when you call us)

Pictures for Common Hail Sizes

Example of a good spotter report Example of a poor spotter report             Example of a good spotter report                                Example of a poor spotter report

Web Reporting for Weather Spotters

  • Storm Report page (for rainfall amounts less than half an inch, very small hail pellets and other less critical information)

  • Educational Resources for Weather Spotters
  • Spotter Training Information
  • Weather Spotter's Field Guide (pdf)
  • Download the NOAA Cloud Chart (pdf)
  • Hail Size Estimate
  • Wind Chart
  • Weather Safety Rules
  • General Weather Terms

  • Spotter Training
  • Online Weather Spotter Training (Coming Soon)
  • Take the Spotter Certification Exam
  • Contact Us
  • Additional Resources
  • Severe Weather Awareness
  • SKYWARN Recognition Day

  • Webmaster
    US Dept of Commerce
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    National Weather Service
    Sacramento Weather Forecast Office

    Sacramento, CA

    Tel: (916) 979-3051

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