The days are getting longer, the sun is getting strong, and warmer weather is on the way. We all know what this means… severe thunderstorm season will soon arrive in the Valley.

In the past, this area has experienced all types of severe weather including tornadoes, flooding rain, large hail, and lightning.

During times of severe weather, the National Weather Service (NWS) depends on local citizens to detect severe thunderstorms and submit storm reports.

Every year, the NWS offices in Cleveland and Pittsburgh train citizens to become part of the SKYWARN team which is a network of storm spotters across the United States.

Anyone can attend these sessions and it is free of charge. Storm spotters provide important information including reports of storm damage, hail sizes, and tornado reports to the NWS during high impact events.

The NWS in Pittsburgh will hold SKYWARN storm spotter training on Monday, March, 13th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Mercer County Department of Public Safety. The address is: 205 South Erie Street Mercer, PA

SKYWARN storm spotter training on Monday, March, 13th at the Mercer County Department of Public Safety from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The address is 205 South Erie Street Mercer, PA

The NWS in Cleveland will also be holding SKYWARN training on April 12th at 6 p.m. in Austintown. The address for this event is: Austintown Township Park
6000 Kirk Rd. Register for the SKYWARN spotter training.


In the early 60s, the National Weather Service began to realize the valuable information that weather spotters across the country provided. In 1965, the National Weather Service developed SKYWARN to assist with the detection of severe thunderstorms, winter weather, and other meteorological phenomena.

There are many SKYWARN spotters that communicate with the NWS and each other during severe thunderstorm events. One example of this is by using amateur radio when severe thunderstorms knock out power.

In 2018, SKYWARN had over 300,000 spotters and the program continues to be a vital part of of the NWS mission to protect life and property.

Now is the time to take the training so you can be prepared to help the National Weather Service during high impact weather events.