The SKYWARN program has come to our 147.345+ (TPL 107.2) analog repeater. Some of you may be aware that the National Weather Service years ago instituted a liaison system where spotters report severe weather into a local repeater and the net controller of the local repeater relays relevant reports to the FISHFAR system - where the National Weather Service, WX9LOT is listening. The reason for this system is that it 1) Allows only severe reports to reach the NWS since irrelevant reports are filtered at the local repeater level , 2) Deloads the FISHFAR system leaving the frequency more open for storm reports from local repeaters, and 3) Allows the NWS to listen to one frequency instead of 20 regional nets.
It’s a good system, but unfortunately has had issues lately. That’s where we come in. Members of NSRC, NORA, and Palatine ARES have teamed up to bring a local reporting net to Northern Cook County, an area that was underserved for some time for a local reporting repeater. Our 147.345+ repeater will be placed in directed net mode when our half of the county is under a warning. Only those with emergency traffic and severe weather reports will be allowed use of the repeater during these periods. When the area is under a watch, the repeaters will be placed in standby mode. Standby mode means that you should keep your conversations short and to the point. You should be ready to end your conversation if the watch is upgraded to a warning. How will you know when the repeater is in restricted mode? We’ll add a “W” courtesy tone and a periodic voice announcement on the repeater saying “Weather Alert” or something to that effect.
Our team of net controllers are interested in your observations if they are severe or notable to the NWS. Severe weather net reporting criteria:
|FUNNEL CLOUD||Organized, persistent, sustained rotation|
|WALL CLOUD||Organized, persistent, sustained rotation|
|HAIL||Nickel size or larger. Report the largest size hailstone|
|WIND GUSTS||40 mph or higher. Specify estimate or measurement|
|FLOODING||Flooding that impacts roads, homes or businesses.|
|RAIN||1/4 inch or more within a 15 minute period.|
|STORM DAMAGE||Damage to structures (roof, siding, windows, etc)
Damage to vehicles (from hail or wind)
Trees uprooted or large limbs down
Power/telephone poles or lines down, or direct lighning strike injuries
|HEAVY SNOW||1” or more per hour, accumulations of 2” or more|
|ICE JAMS||Ice jams on rivers or streams|
Also, don’t call into net control when the repeater is in directed mode to only check in and leave unless you have a severe weather report. This is not a roll-call net. Net control will periodically remind you of what is severe during these SKYWARN nets. Please don’t call in to the net saying “I am KC9ZZZ monitoring on my way to Schaumburg, “ or “I hear the wind real loud now and a I see lightning and hear thunder.” Those are not severe observations and a person only ties up the frequency with reports like that. Please, let’s keep the frequency open for SEVEREand notable reports.
If you would like to be a SKYWARN net control operator you can contact Scott, W8UFO. If you do not want to be a net control operator you can still help us out a bunch by reminding users of our system of the new protocols. Thank you for your cooperation.
ChicagolandSKWYARN.org has local RADAR maps, forecasts, weather warnings, and spotter frequencies.
Here is a presentation from Bruce Becker, N9VID, at our April, 2009, club meeting.