During the first weekend of December, the National Weather Service Office in Melbourne, Florida supported SKYWARN™ Recognition Day for the 13th consecutive year. The event for Amateur Radio (ham) operators was held from 7 pm Friday December 2 until 7 pm Saturday December 3 and was co-sponsored by the NWS (www.weather.gov) and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL; www.arrl.org).
SKYWARN™ Recognition Day (SRD) provides a venue for National Weather Service (NWS) offices to recognize Amateur ("ham") Radio operators for their commitment in helping keep their communities weathersafe. During every tropical weather threat, and many other major weather events, Amateur Radio operators staff local NWS and American Red Cross shelters and stand ready to provide emergency communications should standard services fail or become overloaded. Many Amateur Radio operators are also trained as SKYWARN™ weather spotters by local NWS offices, to provide valuable information during hazardous weather situations. Often, these spotter reports allow NWS meteorologists to issue severe weather warnings with greater advance notice and confidence than would otherwise be possible.
During the 2011 special event, operations from NWS Melbourne included two High Frequency (HF) stations, a Very High Frequency (VHF) station, two digital stations (RTTY and PSK-31), and a PC-based EchoLink (VoIP) station. HF operations utilized the 10, 15, 20, 40, 80 and 160-meter bands. Antennas used were two rotatable beams at 35 feet (10, 15, 20-meters), a GAP Voyager (160-meters), a GAP Titan (digital modes), a rotatable beam at 35 feet for VHF (2 meters), a G5RV dipole, and a 40/80M dipole. Amateur Radio operators from the Treasure Coast Weather Net (TCWN) and Martin County ARES/RACES participated as well as operators from groups in Brevard County (Platinum Coast Amateur Radio Society and the Florida Contest Group). Licensed NWS Melbourne meteorologists also operated during the event. The NWS Melbourne East Central Florida SKYWARN™ Group special call-sign WX4MLB was used.
NWS Melbourne thanks the individuals who supported the event, including those assisting with antenna and station set-up, those who loaned equipment, and of course the dedicated operators. We also appreciate the work of the many individuals who provide valuable SKYWARNTM communications services and severe weather reports throughout the year - and we thank the hundreds of radio operators who took the time and effort to 'work' us during the event.
The 2011 final results:
Radio Operators & Assistance Provided by:
For questions, comments, feedback, please email Scott Spratt or Derrick Weitlich. To receive a QSL card from WX4MLB after the event, please send your card along with an SASE to: NWS Melbourne, 421 Croton Road, Melbourne, FL 32935. Electronic QSLs can be exchanged via EQSL (www.eqsl.cc).
Annual Statistics from WFO Melbourne (local records)