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October 20, 2017

Serving the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Area

Spotter Activities Survey

Metro Skywarn is interested in providing opportunities to keep spotters active and engaged in the community. We have a survey to gather interests in activities and topics. Responses are anonymous, and are not an obligation to attend. Your answers will help us look at options and plan for future events and opportunities. The survey is open until 11:59 p.m. on October 31.

Thanks for being a spotter and keeping an eye on the sky!

Take the Survey

Reminder accessing a net.

Please remember that Metro Skywarn Nets are "Controlled Nets". You request access to the net with your MSW ID and a one word descriptors. See below.

1. Access the net with your Skywarn ID number, and a brief (one or two word) description of the reportable condition. ex: “ 1119, hail.” or “ 1119 , wind damage or "1119, checkin.” Wait for acknowledgement.

2. When Net operator acknowledges with your ID number, for exam ple; “ 1119” or “ 1119, go ahead”, give a brief and complete report that ends with your call sign. ex: “I’m located at I - 35W and I - 694. Pea - sized hail is covering the ground. Some the size of a dime. N0XXX. ”

3. One of two things will happen next: The Net Control operator may ask you questions to clarify your report. End each reply with your Amateur Radio callsign . OR The Net Control Operator will respond with t ime in 24 - hour format. This means your report has been received and understood, and that the Net is available for reports from other spotters . ex: “1732” This reporting format is intended to reduce the “on air” time for each report. Use of your callsign is required to be legal with the FCC.

More information:

Spotter Guide

Reminder on Proper Spotter Reports


Metro Skywarn works with a variety of national and local government entities, radio clubs, and organizations to provide the training and infrastructure for our severe weather spotting nets.

New Website, New Features

Thank you for visiting our Website. We've redesigned and added some new features to the Website.

New features include:

  • Social Media Linking: link your user account to Google for easier login
  • Geocoding: You can Geocode your profile and appear on the Spotter Map.
  • Profile Privacy: this allows you to update your full profile, while allowing only authorized MSW-related users to view contact information.
  • Profile Gallery: you can upload favorite photos directly to your profile.
  • Profile Guest Book and Wall: post updates to your wall regularly.
  • Connections: connect with fellow spotters and discover your network.
  • Forum Re-established: The forum is now integrated with the Documents Library platform.
  • Software Upgrades: New versions of software are now used in the Website platform. This gives a faster site, more secure experience.

This Website is a special service Metro Skywarn provides for trained Metro Skywarn spotters. You must have attended one of our classes and passed the quiz, obtained a MSW Spotter ID card, and preferably have an amateur radio license to log into the new site. Learn more about joining the Website here.

Trained Spotters Play a Critical Role

trainedspottersplayimportantroleHere's a nice story about spotters that was shown Tuesday evening on KSTP-TV: Click here to view in a pop-up window.

It features Tom Ring, who was the first spotter to report the May 22, 2011 tornado that moved through portions of St Louis Park, Golden Valley, North Mpls, Fridley, Spring Lake Park and Blaine. His report to Metro Skywarn was immediately provided to the NWS. Our warning had just been issued, and based on Tom's report, we were able to notify the media and law enforcement of the tornado that had just touched down. There is little doubt that reports of tornadoes help prompt people to seek shelter, and we are deeply grateful for the role that spotters play in helping save lives. There are still a few Skywarn classes this year, so please attend one, if you have not already.

Logo Submissions Closed

Logo submissions are no longer being accepted.

All valid submissions will be reviewed by the Board of Directors on March 18, 2017.

The winning logo design will be revealed at the Metro Skywarn Spotter Appreciation Picnic on May 21, 2017.

Thank you everyone who submitted a design.

Please contact David Riviera, Communications Coordinator, with any questions at

New Items at Cafepress

For those of you who'd like to look their finest in Skywarn wear and support Metro Skywarn, I spent the day Sunday updating the choices of merchandise at our vendor You'll find a wide selection of shirts, hats, bags, and other items in various design configurations for all ages and sizes.

I will consider some special requests if you have a configuration in mind that you don't see already there. Contact me here.

Tell Your Storm Story

Do you have a good photo of severe weather? Send us your photo, or better yet, write an article telling the story behind the storm experience. Be sure you are the owner of the photo for copyright purposes.  Your photo and story will be reviewed and published to our Storm Stories page. All photos and stories will be considered!

Read the Storm Stories 

Coming Soon: Metro Skywarn Logo Contest

Metro Skywarn is accepting logo submissions for use on our Website, social media, and training materials.

Metro Skywarn Mission Statement:

  • Provide a training and education program for severe weather spotters
  • Do scientific, technical evaluation and investigation of severe weather spotting techniques and methods of providing this information to the National Weather Service
  • Develop, operate and maintain Amateur Radio communication networks to accomplish the task of relaying weather spotting reports to the National Weather Service

Logos should visualize the mission statement of Metro Skywarn and specifically encompass the ideas of weather and amateur radio while representing Metro Skywarn uniquely in comparison to other similar organization logos.

There is no required color scheme. The logo should only contain the words "Metro Skywarn".

"Skywarn®" is a trademark of NOAA. See the Skywarn Branding Guidelines for more information. The name "Metro Skywarn, Inc" is the legally registered name of our nonprofit corporation, and is used in good faith with permission of NOAA. Metro Skywarn is not an ARRL ARES group. We have RACES status through collaboration with local government entities. The existing "Metro Skywarn" logo with the modified Skywarn eye is the logo we are replacing. The use of the national Skywarn eye logo is not expected. This logo should represent the Metro Skywarn organization, and not the national Skywarn program.

Logo Submission Guidelines

Logo submissions will be accepted from January 1, 2017, 12:00 am until February 28, 2017, 11:59 pm.

The board of directors will review all submissions at the March 18, 2017 board meeting and select a final design. To ensure an impartial decision, board members will not know the identity of the logo designers until a design is chosen. Only one board member will know who submitted each design at the March 18 board meeting.

The winning logo design will be announced at the Metro Skywarn Spotter Appreciation Picnic on May 20th, 2017 at the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen. You do not need to be present to win.

Logo submissions are welcome from Metro Skywarn spotters, NWS Skywatcher spotters, and the public. Directors and immediate family members are not eligible to win the prize.


The designer of the final selected logo will receive a $100 gift certificate to the location or store of their choice. There is no guarantee that a logo will be selected from the pool of submissions.

Logo Submission Process

Submitted logo images should be final quality. Vector images are preferred, but raster images will be accepted.

Accepted file formats:

  • jpg — Jpeg Graphic Format
  • jpeg — Jpeg Graphic Format
  • gif — Graphics Interchange Format
  • png — Portable Network Graphic
  • pdf — Portable Document Format
  • ai — Adobe Illustrator
  • eps — Encapsulated PostScript
  • psd — Photoshop Document
  • svg — Scalable Vector Graphic

You may submit a vector graphic, or just a high quality rendition of it. Coordination of production files will be done after a final logo design is selected.

A primary logo design is required. However, additional variations are welcome:

  • Vertical or stacked logo: for use in sidebars, commonly called skyscrapers in Web ads
  • Horizontal logo: Website banners or letterhead
  • Square logo: profile images for social media

File size limit is 10MB per image file.

When you submit your logo, you will need to agree to the following:

  • The logo is your own, original work, and does not infringe on anyone's copyright or intellectual property.
  • The logo is an individual project, and not from an advertising agency or design firm.
  • By entering this contest, you release all claim and rights to the logo and variations thereof. All submissions become the property of Metro Skywarn, Inc.
  • Rights for designs not selected will be returned to the designer after the contest.

A digital signature will be required to submit your logo.

Limit one (1) submission per person. Additional or multiple submissions will be disqualified.

The submission form will post on January 1, 2017, 12:00 am. Logos will be accepted until February 28, 2017, 11:59 pm.

Please contact David Riviera, Communications Coordinator and a member of the board of directors, with questions or for more information about the logo submission process at

Weather Alert Email Lists

There are two Google Group email lists that receive regular updates from Metro Skywarn:

Metro Skywarn Alert Mail List
Metro Skywarn Information Mail List

If you do not have a Google account and would like to subscribe via email, send an email to:

MSWInfo = mswinfo+subscribe @
(Please remove any spaces)

MSWAlert = mswalert+subscribe @
(Please remove any spaces)

Posts from our automated system that are sent to MSWinfo and MSWAlerts will come from Metro Skywarn's special email address: ... be sure to add this email address to your contacts list so you receive these posts. This is an unmonitored email address, and should not be used for correspondence to Metro Skywarn. Contact the Board via the Contact link.

In addition to the Metro Skywarn email groups above, the National Weather Service provides a listing of Email and SMS Weather Alert Services that serve both email and SMS message alerts. These are not services of the National Weather Service, and are provided as-is.

Finally, the Metro Skywarn Update is an email list for general information and updates. It is sent no more than six times per year.

Read more: Weather Alert Email Lists

Support Metro Skywarn

GuidestarMetro Skywarn is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation entirely supported by it's members and the general public. Your donations help us defray the cost of our newsletter, our training materials and equipment needs to further our educational mission. Please consider supporting Metro Skywarn. Send us a donation by check, or make a donation by clicking the "donate" button. Purchase a skywarn sticker or merchandise from shop at cafe press.

Send checks payable to Metro Skywarn to:

Metro Skywarn Inc.
Sandra Johnson, Treasurer
853 Bradford Avenue
Champlin, MN 55316

Donate by Credit Card/Pay Pal:

Metro Skywarn

Find out more ways to donate

Read more: Support Metro Skywarn

NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™

Metro Skywarn is proud to join the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™ initiative! Through this partnership, we team up with NOAA and the National Weather Service to promote weather readiness and preparation.

Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™ and the Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™ logo are trademarks of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, used with permission.

2016 Newsletter

Contacting Net Control

When contacting Net Control, please use the process below to help the NCS take your report as quickly as possible.

  1. Contact NCS using your Spotter ID and a one or two word description of the report.
  2. For check in and reports please provide major cross streets, community, and county.

Read more: Contacting Net Control

Reminder on Proper Spotter Reports

All spotters; Thanks for all the reports over the last couple nights, it has been an active 48 hours!

I wanted to give a quick reminder to all regarding proper reports:

1. Make sure what you are going to report is reportable.
2. Know your spotter number.
3. Know your current and accurate location.
4. NEVER estimate wind speed, don't even try, we will just ignore it anyway.
5. Know the difference between ponding and flooding.
6. If you are going to make a hail report, please have the correct size determined
7. An accurate and concise report is more important than an immediate report.

Read on for more details on all of these tips.

Read more: Reminder on Proper Spotter Reports

Metro Skywarn Spotters Can Register And Participate Here

Hint: Try to recover your password first using the "Forgot Login?" link under the login box, using your email address and username. You can use "Forgot Login?" to find out your username, too. If your email address is not in the system, follow these instructions:
If you continue to have problems, email us with the following information:
  1. Your Email Address (each user requires a unique email address)
  2. Your Metro Skywarn ID #
  3. Your Call Sign (if you have one)

Read more: Metro Skywarn Spotters Can Register And Participate Here


My Account

You must be a trained Metro Skywarn spotter to log in to this Website. Use your amateur radio call sign as your username. If you do not have an amateur radio call sign, your username is MSW####, where the # is your MSW ID.

Secret Key is a field for two-factor authentication. If you have not configured two-factor authentication in your profile, you may leave the secret key blank.

New Spotters: Your account will be created shortly after you attend class. If you provided a valid email address on your class roster, you will receive an email when your instructor records your class attendance and creates your account.

NWS Skywatchers are not able to log into this website.

Site Search

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  4. Forum
  • Mon 2 Oct 18:19 Spotters No Longer Needed @ 18:08 Per NWS recommendation, Metro Skywarn is not requested to activate at this time. There is no imminent threat of severe weather currently. If you have a reportable condition, report it using alternative means of communication meaning via the internet or phone.
  • Mon 2 Oct 13:33 Outlook Flash Flood Watch @ 12:50 There is a low chance that Skywarn may activate early this evening-overnight. The lower possibility of Skywarn Activation later on this evening is due to a isolated risk of marginally severe weather for our forecast area today/tonight. Primary threat for the metro is,
  • Fwd: AERO Training Opportunities
    This email contains graphics, so if you don't see them, view it in your browser Association of Emergency Radio Org. AERO Training Opportunities Thank you for her service to Metro Skywarn as a spotter. You serve as the eyes of the National Weather Service for severe weather for your

Contact Metro Skywarn Help

Please contact Metro Skywarn with any questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding the Website, information presented here, or about training and education outreach. This form is not for storm reports! To make an online storm report, visit the NWS.

Someone will get back to you soon.

You can also email or write us at:

Metro Skywarn
PO Box 240742
Saint Paul, MN 55124 USA

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Skywarn© 1996-2017 Metro Skywarn Inc. Non-profit organizations may link to any of these pages as long as original site is used. Use of these pages by "for profit" organizations by permission only. Metro Skywarn Inc. makes no warranty of any kind with respect to the information on this web site, or any of the web sites linked to by this web site. The viewer should not rely upon this information in taking action in a specific situation, and should consult local emergency management officials and a meteorologist regarding the applicability of any of the information contained herein to his or her own circumstances. Opinions expressed on this web site or on other linked web sites are not necessarily endorsed by Metro Skywarn Inc. Skywarn® and the Skywarn® logo are registered trademarks of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, used with permission.