Are you a sky scanner? Do you love weather and meteorology? The city of Galveston and the National Weather Service needs you to become a Skywarn weather spotter.

Come learn from National Weather Service meteorologists how to identify severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, and how to relay information and reports to the National Weather Service.

Skywarn spotter reporters are critical for accurate warning to residents and visitors. 

Training is given on how to effectively and correctly provide updates and information in the fast paced world of weather. 

The training is free and open to the public. 

Training will take place from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. March 13 at the San Luis Convention Center, Galleon Room, 5222 Seawall Blvd., in Galveston. 

The best part is that it is offered at no cost to participants and the benefits are far reaching to the public when severe weather strikes.

The effects of severe weather are felt every year by many Americans. 

To obtain critical weather information, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, established Skywarn with partner organizations. 

Skywarn is a volunteer program with nearly 290,000 trained severe weather spotters. 

These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service. 

Although Skywarn spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of a Skywarn spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms.

In an average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States. 

These events threaten lives and property. 

Since the program started in the 1970s, the information provided by Skywarn spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellites and other data, has enabled the weather service to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods. 

Skywarn storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the nation’s first line of defense against severe weather. 

There can be no finer reward than to know that their efforts have given communities the precious gift of time — seconds and minutes that can help save lives. 

The Houston/Galveston National Weather Service will be conducting Skywarn classes this month before the spring severe weather season begins in April and May. 

For information or to register for this Skywarn Weather Spotter Training, contact the city of Galveston’s Office of Emergency Management staff Rosana Beharry at 409-765-3710 or

Elizabeth Rogers is public information officer for the city of Galveston.

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