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NWS Detroit/Pontiac Outreach Schedule
Skywarn Spotter Training

Skywarn spotter training classes will again be scheduled for Southeast Michigan, starting late February through April 2020.  Please check the calendar below for additional details.

Spotter training classes cover severe weather hazards including thunderstorms and tornadoes.  This includes the general structure and movement of severe thunderstorms, identification of important storm features, and safety concerns.

  • All classes last about 75 minutes.
  • They are free and open to the public.
  • Must be age 13 or older to report.
  • However, classes are appropriate for all ages. Ages 10 and up will likely get the most out of the training.
  • Pre-registration MAY BE required.  Please check with hosting County Emergency Manager.  
  • Classes are scheduled in collaboration with local emergency management officials.

 ** Important:  Please note that a class will NOT be held in every county every year.  You may attend a class in any location, regardless of where you live. **

If you cannot make one of the Skywarn classes this year, there are a couple of alternatives for Skywarn Training.  An online Skywarn training is available through the NOAA MetEd web site.  Currently there are two courses, each taking about one hour to complete...The Role of the Skywarn Spotter and Skywarn Spotter Convective Basics

There will also be a webinar Skywarn Training class conducted by the NWS Detroit/Pontiac office.  The webinar is typically scheduled in late May or early June.  Look for the webinar details in the Top News section of our web page about 2 to 3 week prior to the webinar.

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s Skywarn spotter training class!


Winter Spotter Training

Winter Spotter Training classes will be scheduled again from October to early November 2020.  Please see the calendar below for additional details on dates and locations.  

Even though the threat of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes ends during the winter, we still need your spotter reports! Your spotter reports are just as important during the winter season and help us with warning and advisory decisions for Southeast Michigan. Your reports also help us tell the story of each winter storm or snowfall event. Snowfall and precipitation type can vary greatly even over small distance within one county. Those reports are sent out and use by the local and national media. The also appear on our web page and help us draw our snowfall maps.

The winter spotter class will last roughly an hour and 15 minutes. Topics include:

  • A review of the 2019-20 winter season
  • A look at winter weather climatology
  • Examination of winter weather meteorology
  • NWS winter forecast products
  • Review of guidelines & reporting procedure for winter weather spotters




Visit our preparedness page for additional information.