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About Skywarn Storm Spotters

Skywarn volunteers are authorized as weather spotters who report severe weather activity occurring in Douglas County, Kansas.

The Skywarn volunteer works under the direction of emergency management staff to monitor severe weather conditions and to report severe weather elements to the Emergency Management Operations Center. Skywarn volunteers may be assigned other responsibilities during disaster situations.

Douglas County Emergency Management accepts volunteer applications for new weather spotters November through January of each year and offers specialized weather spotter training January through March each year.

In addition to meeting all the requirements listed on Volunteer Opportunities Homepage, additional requirements have been established for all new Skywarn volunteers.

  • Participation in 50% of service group activations
  • Attendance at 50% of service group trainings/meetings
    • Mandatory Trainings:
      • Severe Storm Spotting Training/Test/Exercise*
      • Spotter Locations Training*
      • Radio Etiquette Training*
      • National Weather Service session of "Weather 101"
      • Severe Weather Symposium
      • Volunteer Policies and Procedures Training

Volunteers must pass, with a score of 70% or better, the weather spotter test given by Douglas County Emergency Management

* Trainings that must be completed by all authorized Skywarn volunteers prior to being issued equipment and activated as a Skywarn volunteer.

Failure to participate in 50% of Skywarn activations during a volunteer's first year will result in continuance of activations with a veteran Skywarn member until successful completion of requirement is fulfilled.

In addition to meeting all the requirements listed on Volunteer Opportunities page, additional requirements have been established for continued membership with Douglas County Skywarn.

  • Participation in 50% of service group activations
  • Attendance at 50% of service group trainings/meetings
    • Mandatory Trainings:
      • Severe Storm Spotting Training/Test/Exercise*
      • Spotter Locations Training*
      • Radio Etiquette Training*
      • Severe Weather Symposium
      • Volunteer Policies and Procedures Training

Volunteers must pass, with a score of 70% or better, the weather spotter test given by Douglas County Emergency Management

* Trainings that must be completed by all authorized Skywarn volunteers prior to being issued equipment and activated as a Skywarn volunteer.

Failure to participate in 50% of Skywarn activations during a volunteer's first year will result in continuance of activations with a veteran Skywarn member until successful completion of requirement is fulfilled.

Annually, all authorized volunteers must complete a background check. Every two years, all authorized volunteers must complete the Douglas County Harassment Free Workplace Training as provided by the Assistant County Administrator. This training will be scheduled by Douglas County Emergency Management.

DCEM encourages all authorized Skywarn members to attend one National Weather Service session of "Weather 101". Volunteers are also encouraged to participate in special events and/or additional trainings sponsored or offered by DCEM.

All Skywarn meetings, unless otherwise stated, will be held at:

  • Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 2nd floor
  • Douglas County Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
  • 111 East 11th Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66044

To volunteer for Skywarn, please complete the Emergency Management Volunteer Application (PDF format) and submit it by email (through a submit button on the form) or in-person to:

  • Douglas County Emergency Management
  • 111 East Eleventh Street
  • Lawrence, KS 66044