SKYWARN® Recognition Day acknowledges the contributions of public service volunteers who provide essential weather information as it’s happening. Each year on the first Saturday in December, the day honors those volunteers who pay attention when the wind picks up, or the sky turns dark. Their efforts keep their communities safer by communication warnings to the National Weather Service.

The observance recognizes the vital public service contributions that Amateur Radio operators make during National Weather Service severe weather warning operations. It also strengthens the bond between Amateur Radio operators and the local National Weather Service.

Around the country, nearly 290,000 Skywarn® weather spotters volunteer their time. They identify severe weather that could potentially affect life and property. Spotters warn the National Weather Service of the threat of thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods.

Skywarn® spotters complete training through a variety of formats and communicate through amateur radio. As members of their community, they’re vital resources both locally and on a national basis.

HOW TO OBSERVE #SkywarnRecognitionDay

If you are a SKYWARN radio operator, you can participate in SKYWARN Recognition Day by visiting a National Weather Service office or by contacting other radio operators. To learn more about becoming a SKYWARN spotter, go to Use #SkywarnRecognitionDay to post on social media.


The National Weather Service and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) created SKYWARN Recognition Day in 1999 to recognize the importance that amateur radio provides during severe weather. Many NWS offices acquire real-time weather information from amateur radio operators in the field. These operators, for example, may report the position of a tornado, the height of floodwaters, or damaging wind speeds during hurricanes. All of this information is critical to the mission of the NWS, which is to preserve life and property. The special day celebrates these contributions by amateur radio operators.

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