Do I need to be Skywarn certified to use Spotter Network?

Oct 17, 2013
Warsaw, Indiana
No. You do not need to be a certified Skywarn spotter in order to be on Spotter Network, but it would not hurt to have the training anyway. I would recommend the courses on MetEd. They are free. Spotter Network requires you to pass their test before you are able to report severe weather on their site. I also recommend watching Skip Talbot's videos on Youtube.

K Nugent

Nov 11, 2020
Ormond Beach, FL
Also to note, MetEd will send your local NWS office SKYWARN contact a notification of completion. What they do with that notification is a mystery, but I have to imagine they log you in a database of some sorts!

J Keith

Jun 3, 2021
Sadler TX
As a veteran storm spotter (some 47 years) I highly recommend using SPOTTER NETWORK .org to submit reports. Most NWS Offices do not "certify" spotters or maintain a spotter database. The NWS hosts "SKYWARN" spotter training classes every year and SKYWARN is actually an outreach program of the NWS to not just train spotters, but the general public as well on how to identify and report significant and severe weather, such as hail, flash flooding, high winds and, or wind damage... wall clouds, funnels and tornadoes. As a former "civil defense" director (before emergency management came along), I was able to retain my NWS Chat account with the National Weather Service and I can tell you that ALL Spotter Network reports are fed into their chatbot. When you submit a report using SPOTTER NETWORK.. the NWS office for your area receives that report almost immediately on NWS Chat.. not only do the NWS Meteorologists see it.. emergency management and the media folks on NWS Chat will also see the report. Like many that have already posted.. the test to get on SPOTTER NETWORK covers the basic information needed to submit a reliable report... but, the MetED courses are also very good. Some of the NWS Offices have recorded both the basic and advanced spotter training segments and posted those on YouTube. Just search for NWS Spotter Training on YouTube. I am also a licensed ham, but over the past decade or two, I have found that most ham (ARES) spotter groups are often too focused on promoting their own agendas and go overboard on restricting reports to meet some ridiculous criteria to a point that most hams have left local nets and use SPOTTER NETWORK and follow THEIR guidelines to submit reports. If you want to be sure that YOUR report gets submitted... use Spotter Network.. don't rely on some ham net control operator to decide if your report meets "their" criteria or not in order to submit it. I can tell you that most NWS Offices are more concerned about getting reports than who or which ham groups are providing the reports. The accuracy or validity of a report is too easy to confirm or verify simply by looking at radar and other reports that have been received..

Joe, KF5S