Are you a weather spotter? Have you ever heard of SKYWARN? Well, it’s the 13th annual SKYWARN recognition day! Starting Friday evening December 2nd at 7pm through Saturday December 3rd at 7pm, over 100 National Weather Service Forecast Offices will be participating in SKYWARN Recognition Day! What exactly is SKYWARN? Here’s a blurb right from the National Skywarn Homepage…
“SKYWARN® is a volunteer program with nearly 290,000 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.”
Getting involved is easy, and anyone who has an interest is encouraged to participate. Training is free and is conducted at one of 122 Weather Forecast Offices involved with SKYWARN. But what has that to do with Ham Radio? First of all, Amateur Radio Operators are a great community asset, providing communication when little or none is available, and severe weather updates via Ham Radio can be a matter of life and death. But this weekend there is a little more fun involved- Amateur Radio Operators making contact with one of 100 NWS Forecast Offices that will be on the air!
Amateur Radio operators can make contact with these National Weather Service stations on a variety of repeaters, along with simplex operators, HF and Echolink/IRLP operations! If you don’t hear these stations on the repeaters, feel free to call for one of the stations because they’ll be monitoring. You can find a list of participating offices at the NOAA website, all the FAQ’s about making the QSO’s at NOAA’s FAQ Page, and read more about SKYWARN Recognition day at the ARRL Website.
Remember, the goal of this weekend is for as many “amateur stations to exchange QSO information with as many National Weather Service Stations as possible on 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meter bands plus the 70 centimeter band. Contacts via repeaters are permitted. SKYWARNTM Recognition Day serves to celebrate the contributions to public safety made by amateur radio operators during threatening weather.”
BTW, The Exchange? Call sign, signal report, QTH, and a one or two word description of the weather occurring at your site.
This should be a fun event! Even if you don’t have a HF rig, or even if you don’t have an HT, you can participate via Echolink! Good luck! Let me know if you make any contacts!