SKYWARN

 

     
 general information         
 
  SKYWARN is a volunteer program with nearly 280,000 trained severe weather spotters nationwide. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service. The primary method for communicating reports to the National Weather Service is through the use of amateur radio.

Amateur radio has remained an important part of the National Weather Service mission for many years. Without amateur radio operators spotting storms in the field, the Weather Service is often faced with using information obtained solely by instrumentation. Thus the spotter becomes the "eyes and ears" for the Weather Service. Our radar operators rely on spotter reports to validate what we are seeing. Even with the latest technology, the National Weather Service continues to need trained spotters in the field!

The SKYWARN amateur radio storm spotting program in West Texas is supported by the use of the West Texas Connection repeater network. The Connection is a system of linked repeaters covering most of West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico.

W5MAF, our SKYWARN station identification was issued to us December 5, 1996 by the FCC. Anyone with a scanner that receives 144-148 MHz or 440-449 MHz can monitor storm spotters in action.

An amateur radio license is not hard to obtain. You can now get licensed by studying and passing a 50 question test. A Technician licence will allow you to operate above 30MHz. Knowing Morse Code is not a requirement for this licence class. However, passing a code exam is needed to upgrade your licence to operate on the high frequency (HF) bands (below 30MHz). For further information contact: 

      Mark Strobin

We would like to see more licensed amateurs in some of the outlying areas where there is radio coverage...but no amateur radio operators. If you're interested in weather spotting and think you can help make a difference, please contact us today!
 
     
 training         
 
  2014 Skywarn training classes 
An Introduction to Storm Observation and Reporting
Storm Spotter Glossary
Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale)
 
 
     
 safety         
 
  Severe Weather Awareness
Severe Weather Safety Guide
Building a Safe Room
 
 

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