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April 27, 2017

Q. Can I be spotter?

A. Yes! Spotting is open to everyone of all ages. However, you must be 14 years old to get an ID for reporting. We encourage youth to work with their parents.


Q. How do I become a spotter?

A. All you need to do is attend a Metro Skywarn class. See the Class Schedule for a class near you. Classes are generally four hours long. Classes are free, but donations are accepted.


Q. Do I need to be an amateur radio operator (HAM)?

A. To report through Metro Skywarn and receive a MSW ID Card, you need to be a licensed Amateur Radio Operator (or be getting your license soon). Non-HAMs may attend class, but are registered with the National Weather Service Skywatcher program. Skywatcher IDs are emailed to you in June by the NWS.


Q. I don't live in the 7-county Metro area. What can I do?

A. The National Weather Service offers classes for outstate residents. See the NWS Class Schedule for details.


Q. I don't live in the 7-county Metro area, but I work/play/worship in the Metro. What can I do?

A. You can attend a Metro Skywarn class, or work with your sponsoring Skywarn agency to make an agreement with Metro Skywarn. Contact for assistance.


Q. I just took my class. When do I get my Spotter ID?

A. There are two types of Skywarn Spotters: Amateur Radio Operators and Non-Radio Operators. Metro Skywarn Spotter IDs and ID cards are given to Amateur Radio Operators only, and are assigned at your class. You will receive an ID card with your Spotter ID on it.


Q. I'm not an Amateur Radio Operator. When do I get my ID?

A. Non-Radio Operators are given Skywatcher IDs from the National Weather Service. These are emailed to you in June directly by the NWS. You are still a Skywarn spotter–you just report directly to the NWS. Instructions on how to report will be emailed to you, along with your ID. You will not receive an MSW ID card at the class. Beginning in 2017, Metro Skywarn will be handing out blank Skywatcher ID cards with a space for you to fill in your Spotter ID when you receive the email from the NWS that contains your Skywatcher ID. Skywatcher IDs are not available to be distributed at your class.


Q. Can I register for the Website?

A. Most of the Website is open to the public. However, there are certain features for Metro Skywarn Spotters only. Only spotters with a Metro Skywarn Spotter ID can sign in to the Website. Due to privacy concerns and restrictions, MSW Website logins are not available for NWS Skywatchers.


Q. How do I register for the Website?

A. Your information is entered into the database by your instructor within a few weeks of your class. You will not be notified when your account is ready. However, you can try to set your password two weeks after class by visiting the "Forgot Login?" page and using your call sign as your username, and the email you provided at class. If your information is not found two weeks after class, wait a week and try again. If it's still not found, use the contact form below, or email


Q. I have additional questions. Who do I ask?

A. You can use the contact form below, or email us at


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You must be a trained Metro Skywarn spotter to log in to this Website. If you previously had a number for a username, try MSW#### now!

Secret Key is for Two Factor Authentication. If you have not configured TFA on your Password & Privacy tab in Edit Your Profile, you can leave Secret Code blank to log in.

New Spotters: Your account will be automatically created shortly after you attend class. You can set your initial password using the "Forgot Login?" page. Request your username by using the email entered on the class registration form.


  1. MSWInfo
  2. MSWAlert
  3. MPX
  • Thu 20 Apr 14:58 Spotters No Longer Needed SHORT MESSAGE Practice net closed for the afternoon drill. LONG MESSAGE We are closing the informal practice net for Severe Weather Awareness Week. We’d like to invite you to participate in this evening’s practice net beginning at 18:30 this evening.
  • Thu 20 Apr 14:27 Drill Tornado Warning Freqs: 146.70, 147.21 SHORT MESSAGE The NWS has issued a test tornado warning. Informal net in progress. LONG MESSAGE This is a test tornado warning...part of the Minnesota and Wisconsin statewide tornado drill...and is part of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
  • Thu 20 Apr 13:40 Drill Tornado Watch Freqs: 146.70, 147.21 @ 13:30 SHORT MESSAGE The NWS has issued a test tornado watch. Informal net in progress. LONG MESSAGE This is a test tornado watch...part of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota. This message is for test purposes only. Please practice your tornado action plans as if it

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 within a few days.

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You can also email or write us at:

Metro Skywarn
PO Box 240742
Saint Paul, MN 55124 USA

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