Office of Domestic Preparedness Blog

Van Buren County SKYWARN Training session


Attention Weather Spotters!

The 2018 Severe Weather Season is will SOON be here! 
Be prepared by attending the Van Buren County SKYWARN Training session.
Training will take place on Saturday, March 10, 2018 from 2pm-4pm.
Paw Paw High School
30609 Red Arrow Highway
 Paw Paw, MI 49079



What is SKYWARN®? 

The 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. SKYWARN® 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 Weather Service. 
Although SKYWARN® spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of a SKYWARN® spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms. In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 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 thunderstorms 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 efforts have given communities the precious gift of time--seconds and minutes that can help save lives. 
Who is Eligible? 
NWS encourages anyone 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 private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter. 
Training is free and typically last about 2 hours. You'll learn:

  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
  • Information to report 
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety

Sponsored by:  Office of Domestic Preparedness, Van Buren Co. Sheriff's Office
       National Weather Service, Grand Rapids, MI
                        Van Buren County ARES/ RACES Members

For more information CONTACT:

Lt. Bob Kirk:  269-657-7786 or Paul Reissmann: 269-621-6138

Preregistration encouraged! Seating is limited!

Walt Grech