|Tornado descending from a thunderstorm over New Mexico.|
The NWS SKYWARN program is the front line resource for accurate weather reporting. Reports from trained weather spotters in and out of the SKYWARN program is the "ground truth" the weather forecasters rely on.
It's not difficult to become a SKYWARN spotter, anybody can become one. But first, you need to learn just what the NWS is looking for, and how to report it accurately. National Weather Service Offices nation-wide schedule informal classes & there are online presentations, like here, from the Wilmington office of the NWS, that teaches you the basics.