Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

National Weather Service Offering Free SKYWARN Spotter Classes - Weather Spotters Needed Across the Northland

Apr 01, 2024 11:38AM ● By Editor
Image:  NWS Duluth

From the NWS in Duluth - April 1, 2024

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Duluth, Minnesota, will offer free Skywarn Spotter Training Classes across the Northland this spring. Skywarn is a cooperative effort between the NWS, local emergency management, and private citizens who volunteer their time to attend free classes and send their weather reports to the NWS. Volunteers who commit to attending these classes serve a vital need for the NWS by monitoring and reporting severe weather conditions. These reports, in turn, help the NWS deliver accurate and timely severe weather warnings. The class is great for anyone who wants to learn more about weather, and no weather background is necessary to attend the class! 

Spotter classes will answer questions about thunderstorm safety (where to go if a storm strikes and you’re in the wilderness?), the science of thunderstorms (why do some storms form tornadoes?), spotting different types of cloud formations (what’s the difference between a shelf cloud and a wall cloud?) and how spotters can get their reports to the National Weather Service (how to let NWS know when you spot a tornado?). Attendees are encouraged to bring their weather questions to the National Weather Service meteorologists teaching the class! 

This spring, there will be a mix of over 20 classes delivered in-person in communities across northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin as well as online virtual classes, with a variety of days and times available to accommodate different schedules. Classes are completely free, last about an hour and a half, and are taught by the meteorologists who issue the Severe Thunderstorm, Tornado, Flash Flood, and other Warnings for communities across the Northland. 

The full class schedule is available online at For more information, contact Meteorologist Bryan Howell at [email protected] or 218-729-0651. 

About the National Weather Service Duluth, MN office 

The mission of the National Weather Service is to provide weather, water, and climate data, forecasts, and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy. The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Duluth, MN is one of 122 field offices that provide forecasts and warnings across the United States and its territories. NWS Duluth serves 18 counties and 9 tribal nations across northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, as well as the nearshore waters of western Lake Superior. The office is open 24/7/365 with a dedicated team of meteorologists and support staff providing a continuous weather watch across the Northland.


Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here