SKYWARN is a concept developed in the late 1960s that was intended to promote a cooperative effort between the National Weather Service and local communities. The emphasis of the effort is often focused on the storm spotter, an individual who is in a position within their community and is able to report wind gusts, hail size, rainfall, and cloud formations that could signal a developing tornado. Another part of SKYWARN is the receipt and effective distribution of National Weather Service information.
Since 2008, the National Weather Service has trained 50 local Weather Spotters who are able to provide observations to the PCEMA and the National Weather Service. This information is relayed to a Warning Coordination Meteorologist, who is responsible for administering the SKYWARN program in the local area. Pacific County is served by the Portland Forecast Office. The training will cover:
- Basics of thunderstorm development
- Fundamentals of storm structure
- Identifying potential severe weather features
- Information to report
- How to report information
- Basic severe weather safety