CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Learn how to spot and observe severe weather by becoming a certified SKYWARN storm spotter with an online class hosted by WCNC Charlotte and the National Weather Service.
The virtual class is free and open to everyone.
WCNC Charlotte Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich will welcome in a meteorologist from the National Weather Service office in Greenville-Spartanburg, which oversees the Charlotte metro area, who will teach the class on recognizing the basics of storm development and identification.
Participants will learn:
- Basics of thunderstorm development
- Fundamentals of storm structure
- Identifying potential severe weather features
- Information to report
- How to report information
- Basic severe weather safety
You'll be able to ask your questions of Brad, who will also take your questions anytime in our WCNC Charlotte Storm Spotter Facebook group.
Storm spotters are not storm chasers. They do not need special equipment or vehicles. Instead, storm spotters are trained to recognize severe weather happening outside their windows in their own community. This critical information gets relayed to the National Weather Service, who uses the hyperlocal storm reports in its efforts to issue timely warnings and storm damage reports.
Those who successfully complete the class will receive certification as a National Weather Service SKYWARN storm spotter program, a nationwide program consisting of more than 350,000 volunteers nationwide.
The program was created in 1970 and has evolved over the years to accept storm reports across technological advancements, including amateur radio, telephone, and social media.
🌩️ If you like weather, watch Brad Panovich and the WCNC Charlotte First Warn Weather Team on their YouTube channel, Weather IQ. 🎥
While anyone can submit storm reports to the National Weather Service (NWS), reports from certified SKYWARN storm spotters are highly regarded since NWS meteorologists know those have come from trained observers.