The purpose of this site is to provide important
information to the 40 SKYWARN counties (8 Districts) within
the NWS Morristown Warning Area. This includes 33 counties in Eastern
Tennessee, 5 counties in SW Virginia, and 2 counties in Western North
Carolina (i.e., Clay and Cherokee).
What is SKYWARN®?
The effects of severe weather are felt every year
by many Americans. To obtain critical weather information, NOAA’s
National Weather Service (NWS), part of the U.S. Department of
Commerce, established SKYWARN® with partner organizations. SKYWARN®
is a volunteer program with between 350,000 and 400,000 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 the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000
floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States.
These events threatened lives and property.
Since the program started in the 1970s, the
information provided by SKYWARN® spotters, coupled with Doppler
radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled NWS
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.
Who is Eligible?
NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public
service and access to communication, such HAM radio, to join the
SKYWARN® program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel,
dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned
private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools,
churches, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting
others are also encouraged to become a spotter.
How Can I Get Involved?
NWS has 122 local Weather Forecast Offices, with
one being in Morristown, TN, who is responsible for administering the
SKYWARN® program in our area. Find
a class in your area: Training is
free and typically last about 2 hours. You’ll learn:
potential severe weather features
How to report
- Basic severe weather safety
SKYWARN® is a registered trademark of NOAA’s
National Weather Service.