SKYWARN Training Opportunities
Online refresher course QUIZ (ONLY for those who have already attended in-person training sessions and have SKYWARN spotter number)
Procedure for Calling Into a SKYWARN Net
When the Net Control Station (NCS) calls on stations to check in, please follow the following guidelines:
- Identify yourself with your callsign, name and current location.
- Allow the NCS to greet all the stations.
- The NCS will then go down the list, taking the information from each station.
- We want your observations! Please base your reports on the NWS criteria.
WHAT was observed
WHEN it was observed
WHERE it was observed
- Include direction & distance from a known location
- When calling from your town. Please specify if in MA or CT.
- Don’t relay reports that you hear on repeaters in other coverage areas, unless the NCS has asked you to do so.
- Don’t relay information from the WEATHER CHANNEL.
- If you relay information you hear on a scanner, let the NCS know this is second hand information from a Public Service agency.
- After the storm has passed your location. DO NOT tell NCS the storm has passed! Please stay off the air so that reports east of you can be taken. We don’t need a summary of what has already happened.
Please remember your safety during severe weather!
Submitted by Eric, N1QKO
Assistant SKYWARN Coordinator for Western MA
NWS Reporting Criteria
NOAA Weather Radio
Here’s a great site that includes coverage maps and S.A.M.E. codes for programming your weather radio, NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards.
Southern New England SKYWARN Frequencies
SKYWARN frequencies list from WX1BOX includes those to be used in our local area as well as those for other parts of southern New England.
SKYWARN News and Updates
Note: Temporary change of location
What: Weather Net
Net Control: Roger, K1PAI
Where: 146.790. (PL is 82.5)
When: Thursday evening
Time: 9 PM (21:00 Hours)
What is SKYWARN®?
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. Although SKYWARN® spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of a SKYWARN® spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms.
Do I have to be a licensed ham to be a SKYWARN spotter?
No, you don’t have to be a ham. Anyone who is interested can be trained as a SKYWARN spotter. Official Spotter numbers will be given to anyone who attends a training and is at least 16 years of age or older. (In Massachusetts, people younger than 16 who desire a spotter number, and who can present special circumstances, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.) While you don’t have to be a ham, it is helpful to be one, as you can immediately communicate your observations to a SKYWARN®net that is taking place in your location.
What training is available? When will it be held?
Each year, SKYWARN® classes are offered in a variety of locations in New England. There are also refresher courses online. For information on the types of training available, as well as dates and location, please visit the WX1BOX website for Southern New England Amateur Radio SKYWARN®.
What is a SKYWARN® net?
A SKYWARN® net occurs only when there is severe weather either approaching our area or currently in it. The net does not have a regular schedule. The net control station will begin the net when he/she believes it appropriate. Our SKYWARN® nets occur on the 146.94 (PL 127.3) Mt. Tom Repeater. If you are on the repeater when a SKYWARN® net is being started, please finish your conversation and make the repeater available immediately.
Who runs our SKYWARN® nets?
Our Western Massachusetts SKYWARN® nets are generally run by Ray- KA1JJM (SKYWARN® Coordinator) or Eric-N1QKO (Assistant SKYWARN® Coordinator) on the 146.94 (PL 127.3) repeater. Just over the Connecticut line, Roger-K1PAI runs a SKYWARN® Net on 146.79 (PL 82.5). In a weather emergency, you may want to monitor both.
When the net control begins a net, he will ask for check-ins and sometimes ask for specific information. He will then contact the National Weather Service and relay the information. For that reason, it is important to know what kind of information is helpful to report.
When do I report something? What criteria do I follow?
The National Weather Service has created specific criteria to help you with your reporting of weather events. Familiarize yourself with them now so that you’ll know how to be helpful when needed.
How can I get a little practice?
If you want to get a little practice reporting on weather data, there is the Hartford-Tolland County Weather Net every Thursday evening at 9 PM on the 146.790 (PL 82.5) PVRA repeater. It’s a low-key net where everyone is welcomed to join in. You don’t need to have weather station to participate. Some folks check in with the temperature readings from their cars or local bank signs, while others give complete weather reports from their computerized weather stations. The point of the net is to get used to reporting on weather.
If you have the data, here is what Roger – K1PAI, net control for Hartford-Tolland County Weather Net is looking for. Please report it in the following order:
High for the Day
Low for the Day
Additional weather websites:
CT SKYWARN Operations Manual (focused on NWS Albany, but good general reference on SKYWARN)
Tropical Prediction Center (National Hurricane Center)