NWS Wakefield SKYWARN
Amateur Radio Support Team
WX4AKQ Wakefield, VA
Spotter Training Requirements for SKYWARN NCO's
Spotter Certification Requirements
All SKYWARN Net Control Operators must complete an approved SKYWARN Spotter training program prior to joining the team, and must maintain their Spotter certification at all times.
All SKYWARN Spotters are urged to try to attend a classroom training session performed by the Wakefield WFO for all initial and re-certifying SKYWARN training. The classroom sessions provide a very important opportunity to interact with local NWS personnel, and also emphasize the specific reporting criteria and expectations of the Wakefield WFO.
For a list of classes and registration information, look here.
Initial training is in the form of the Basic SKYWARN class. When you complete the class, you will be given a password to use to download a certificate of completion. Do not lose this certificate! You will need to send us this certificate of completion to join the team and every time you re-certify as a Spotter.
If you have taken the Basic SKYWARN class but have lost your certificate, you will need to re-take the class, or take the online Spotter training (below).
Optional Advanced SKYWARN training is available on a limited basis. You must complete the Basic class before you will be permitted to take the Advanced class. This class covers more advanced topics which will be of interest to more serious weather enthusiasts.
Alternative Online Training
Online training is available through the COMET program. This 2-3 hour course covers most of the basic SKYWARN concepts. This training may be used as a substitute for classroom training sessions in circumstances where travel distance or other factors prohibit a Spotter from attending a classroom session.
You must complete both components to the course: Role of the SKYWARN Spotter and SKYWARN Spotter Convective Basics. Upon completion of each component, you will receive a PDF certificate of completion. Do not lose this certificate! You will need to send us this certificate of completion to join the team and every time you re-certify as a Spotter.
When completing the course, either as a new or renewing Spotter, you must check the box which reads, "Upon completion, I would like to register as a SKYWARN Spotter with my local NWS office." Otherwise, the Wakefield WFO will not be notified of your completion and you will not be registered with the office.
Re-certification is required a minimum of once every three years. Any of the following may be completed for re-certification:
The classroom training is preferred.
Regardless of which class you attend, you will need to send us the PDF certificate of completion. Without this certificate, we will be unable to recognize your Spotter training.