Many members of CERT take the annual Skywarn Spotter Course through the National Weather Service in White Lake. The course is given at a location in Monroe County every spring, as well as other counties in SE Michigan if you should miss the Monroe County date.
Skywarn Classes can also be taken online here:
National Weather Service White Lake Skywarn Page
Monroe County Skywarn Page
What is Skywarn?
Skywarn is a nationwide network of volunteer weather spotters who report to and are trained by NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS). These spotters report many forms of significant or severe weather such as Severe Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Hail, Heavy Snow, and Flooding.
The staffs at each NWS Forecast Office are responsible for issuing local forecasts and Severe Weather Warning services for the county warning forecast area. Skywarn Spotters provide an invaluable service by providing ground truth on the atmosphere we observe from advanced radars, satellites and reporting stations. These spotters act as our eyes and ears helping to provide better forecasts and severe weather warnings. We are all working together for a Weather Ready Nation!
What to Report
Spotters are asked to report any occurrence of severe weather to your Skywarn EC, Skywarn Net Controller or directly to us at the NWS. These reports are of tremendous importance to us since they firmly tell us what the weather is like at the ground and aid us in understanding what we are seeing on our radar and satellite images. If you see any of the following eight types of events, please call us! These events are considered emergency traffic on the Ham network; please relay them to the NWS immediately.
- Tornadoes, Water Spouts, and Funnel Clouds.
- Damaging Winds that down trees, large limbs and power lines or any wind producing property damage.
- Hail of at least 1/2 inch in diameter
- Lightning that produces damage, injury or death.
- Flooding, Ice Jams, Bankfull Rivers or Streams.
- Measured Rainfall that exceeds 1.0 in a 24 hour or less time period.
- Freezing Rain that impacts travel or causes damage.
- Snowfall greater than 1″ (How to Measure Snowfall)
- Any other event that you feel may help us determine the severity of storms.