The Columbia SKYWARN Team assists the Columbia National Weather Service
with Ground-Truth weather observations during severe or dangerous weather. The Columbia
NWS forecast area covers a large portion of South Carolina and is divided into three areas:
August/CSRA, Midlands, and Eastern Midlands.
Founded in the 1970's, the information provided by SKYWARN Spotters, coupled with Doppler
radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enable the NWS to issue more timely and
accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods. SKYWARN Storm Spotters
form the nation's first line of defense against severe weather-minutes that can help save lives.
In most years, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and lightning cause hundereds of injuries and deaths, and
billions in property and crop damages. To obtain critical weather information, the National Weather
Service (NWS) established SKYWARN with partner organizations. SKYWARN is a volunteer program
with between 350,000 and 400,000 trained severe weather Spotters. These volunteers help keep
their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the
National Weather Service. Although SKYWARN Spotters provide essential information for all types of
weather hazards, the focus is reporting on severe local thunderstorms. In an average year the
United States experiences more than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more
than 1,000 tornadoes. (Information courtesy of the Columbia NWS)
Interested in learning more, have questions, or want to sign up for training-Newsletter-meetings?
Use the orange form at the bottom of the page to contact us, or visit the Columbia NWS at