National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

The National Weather Service relies on trained volunteers to supplement Doppler radar information on severe storms
and tornadoes. These dedicated individuals volunteer many hours of their time to learn about and detect severe weather.
Their valuable cooperation is important in the warning process. Weather reports from trained spotters are used along
with Doppler radar data to issue warnings of tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and flash floods.

NOTE: This training schedule is subject to change. Please call the appropriate contact person for details, including
any last-minute changes or cancellation due to inclement weather etc. The spotter training program is coordinated
by Christine Wielgos, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS Paducah office - 270-744-6440 ext. 726 or
Christine.Wielgos@noaa.gov.
 

 

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PADUCAH SPOTTER PROGRAM:

  • Most spotter training is conducted in February and March, in preparation for peak severe weather season.
    A second spotter training season is conducted in September and October. There may be specialized webinar classes
    conducted at other times of the year.
  • These classes are free of charge and are open to anyone who has an interest in severe weather and/or public service.
    The objective of the training is to provide the knowledge to identify and report key severe weather features.
  • The classes contain photos/videos of recent violent tornadoes, storm damage, flash floods, hailstorms, and downbursts.
  • The staple "Basic Storm Spotter" class is about 2 hours in length. The "Elite Spotter Workshop" is 3 to 4 hours in length
    and is conducted in April.  All materials are provided, and a certificate of completion will be given at the end of each class.
  • Media outlets across the region are encouraged to announce classes in their coverage area.
  • For more details on spotter training classes in southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, southwest Indiana or western
    Kentucky
    , you may email Warning Coordination Meteorologist Christine Wielgos - Christine.Wielgos@noaa.gov

IMPORTANT: 
Registration is required (CLICK HERE)
 to attend on-site classes 

ON-SITE SPOTTER TRAINING CLASSES
BASIC SPOTTER TRAINING: ON SITE CLASSES:


FEBRUARY CLASSES

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 27, 2024 6:00 pm CST: Benton, KY - Rescue Squad Bldg 201 Ash St.

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 29, 2024 6:00 pm CST: Harrisburg, IL -- Southeastern Illinois College 3575 College Rd Rm B126W

 

MARCH CLASSES

TUESDAY MARCH 5, 2024 6:00 pm CST: Owensboro, KY - Legacy Owensboro Church 5333 Frederica St.

TUESDAY MARCH 5, 2024 6:00 pm CST: Benton, IL - University of IL Extension Office 1212 Ag St. 

THURSDAY MARCH 7, 2024 6:00 pm CST: Olive Branch, IL - Alexander Cty Ambulance Base 27611 St Rt 3

THURSDAY MARCH 14, 2024 6:00 pm CST: Oakland City, IN - East Gibson Fire Station 314 N. Main St. 

SATURDAY MARCH 16, 2024 9:00 am CDT: Marion, IL - Williamson County Fire Protection District Station 1 1503 E. Main St.

MONDAY MARCH 18, 2024 6:00 pm CDT: Jackson, MO - Jackson Civic Center 381 E. Deerwood Dr. 

TUESDAY MARCH 19, 2024 6:30 pm CDT: Mt. Vernon, IL - Mt. Vernon Outland Airport 100 Aviation Dr.

 

APRIL CLASSES

MONDAY APRIL 29, 2024 6:00 pm CDT: Fairview, KY - Fairview Fire Dept. 10920 Jefferson Davis Hwy 

 

ELITE SPOTTER TRAINING (ADVANCED SPOTTER) - ON SITE CLASSES:
IMPORTANT: The basic spotter training is a prerequisite to taking the Elite Spotter Training Class.
These classes last between 3 and 4 hours.

TUESDAY APRIL 2, 2024 6:00 pm CDT: Cape Girardeau, MO - Osage Center 1625 N. Kingshighway

THURSDAY APRIL 11, 2024 6:00 pm CDT: Murphysboro, IL - Murphysboro High School Library 50 Blackwood Dr. 

TUESDAY APRIL 16, 2024 6:00 pm CDT: Paducah, KY - Emergency Operations Center 3700 Coleman Rd.

THURSDAY APRIL 18, 2024 6:00 pm CDT: Henderson, KY - Henderson Municipal Services Center 1449 Corporate Ct.

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VIRTUAL SPOTTER TRAINING CLASSES (WEBINARS)
BASIC SPOTTER TRAINING: WEBINARS

MONDAY MARCH 11, 2024 6:00 pm CDT Click here to register

ELITE SPOTTER TRAINING - WEBINARS
IMPORTANT: The basic spotter training is a prerequisite to taking the Elite Spotter Training Class.
These classes last between 3 and 4 hours.

TUESDAY APRIL 16th, 2024 6:00 pm CDT Click here to register

 

WINTER WEATHER SPOTTER TRAINING - WEBINARS

No classes scheduled at this time

ABOUT SKYWARN SPOTTERS:

What is Skywarn?

Skywarn FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

National Skywarn Page
 

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PADUCAH COUNTY WARNING AREA:

Each National Weather Service office across the U.S. issues forecasts and warnings for and provides weather services for a
particular area of responsibility, known as a County Warning Area or CWA.  The counties shown in the graphic below is our area
of responsibility or CWA and therefore our target audience for spotter training classes. If you are outside of this area, please visit
this link and click on your state to find the local NWS contact for your specific county. Some NWS offices may have other criteria
or requirements for you to complete before you can be an official Skywarn Spotter for their area.

SPOTTERS: HOW TO SUBMIT STORM REPORTS:

  • Use the Spotter Hotline (unlisted number provided during the Skywarn Spotter Class)
  • Use Twitter.  We can be reached at @NWSPaducah
  • Use Twitter hashtags: #tristatewx or #nwspah. (Certified spotters may also use #pahspotter)
  • Post it on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NWSPaducah
  • Send us an email with your report (*NOTE: This email account is not monitored during severe weather events
    - send only post event storm reports or pictures here
    ):  w-pah.webmaster@noaa.gov


SPOTTERS: WHAT TO REPORT:

Wind Damage (e.g. trees or tree limbs down, shingles off of buildings etc.)

Wind of 40 to 50 mph or greater

Hail (any size)

Wall Cloud

Funnel Cloud

Tornado

Flooding (water over roads, water rising out of banks of small creek and streams)

Snow or ice beginning to accumulate on roads or other surfaces 

Snowfall (about every 1 inch of accumulation)

Freezing Rain (about every 1/4 inch of accumulation and any related damage)


SPOTTERS: WEATHER ANALYSIS TOOLS:

SPOTTERS: ADDITIONAL TRAINING:

ELITE SPOTTER TRAINING:

Elite spotter training normally takes place in early April. See the schedule above for the latest classes scheduled.

The objective of the Elite Spotter Workshops is to develop well trained and safety conscious spotters. Spotters are highly
encouraged to have taken the "Skywarn Spotter Concepts Course" (or a basic spotter course) before attempting to partake
in the Elite Spotter Training.
 The workshops will be about 3 and 1/2 hours in length, and will include a "Basic Weather 101"
section, more detailed and advanced spotting concepts, radar concepts, safety measures, and hands on exercises. An
end of course exam will be given with a score of 70% required for passing the course and attaining a certificate.

For those wishing to take some basic spotter classes online, or take refresher courses on the material presented
by the NWS, MetEd offers an alternate way to achieve your training.
 MetEd is populated and maintained by the
COMET®Program, which is part of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research's (UCAR's) Community Programs (UCP).

Role of Skywarn Spotter

Skywarn Spotter Convective Basics

Skywarn Spotter Training

Once you have completed this training, you may contact christine.wielgos@noaa.gov for instructions on making spotter reports.
 

SPOTTERS - GUIDES FOR NWS SPOTTERS:
 

SPOTTERS - REFERENCE MATERIALS:

 

How to determine your spotter code:

Find the county you live in in the table below, take the SAME code listed next to your county and add the two digits for the year of your last training. 

Example: Spotter lives in McCracken county Kentucky and their most recent spotter class was in 2023. Their spotter code would be 21145-23. 

County SAME Code
Alexander, IL 17003
Ballard, KY 21007
Bollinger, MO 29017
Butler, MO 29023
Caldwell, KY 21033
Calloway, KY 21035
Cape Girardeau, MO 29031
Carlisle, KY 21039
Carter, MO 29035
Christian, KY 21047
Crittenden, KY 21055
Daviess, KY 21059
Edwards, IL 17047
Franklin, IL 17055
Fulton, KY 21075
Gallatin, IL 17059
Gibson, IN 18051
Graves, KY 21083
Hamilton, IL 17065
Hardin, IL 17069
Henderson, KY 21101
Hickman, KY 21105
Hopkins, KY 21107
Jackson, IL 17077
Jefferson, IL 17081
Johnson, IL 17087
Livingston, KY 21139
Lyon, KY 21143
Marshall, KY 21175
Massac, IL 17127
McCracken, KY 21145
McLean, KY 21149
Mississippi, MO 29133
Muhlenberg, KY 21177
New Madrid, MO 29143
Perry, IL 17145
Perry, MO 29157
Pike, IN 18125
Pope, IL 17151
Posey, IN 18129
Pulaski, IL 17153
Ripley, MO 29181
Todd, KY 21219
Trigg, KY 21221
Saline, IL 17165
Scott, MO 29201
Spencer, IN 18147
Stoddard, MO 29207
Union, IL 17181
Union, KY 21225
Vanderburgh, IN 18163
Wabash, IL 17185
Warrick, IN 18173
Wayne, IL 17191
Wayne, MO 29223
Webster, KY 21233
White, IL 17193
Williamson, IL 17199