During the first weekend of December, the National Weather Service Office in Melbourne, Florida supported SKYWARN™ Recognition Day for the 15th consecutive year. The event for Amateur Radio (ham) operators was held from 7 pm Friday December 6th until 7 pm Saturday December 7th and was co-sponsored by the NWS (www.weather.gov) and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL; www.arrl.org). We also hosted a SKYWARN™ Open House from 10 AM to 4 PM on December 7th, where local amateur radio operators and thier family members stopped by for tours of event operations and of the National Weather Service office.
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 2013 special event here at NWS Melbourne, operations included three High Frequency (HF) stations, a Very High Frequency (VHF) station, and a PC-based EchoLink (VoIP) station. HF operations utilized the 10, 15, 20, 40, 80 and 160-meter bands. Antennas used were a rotatable beam at 35 feet (10 and 15-meters), a GAP Voyager (20 and 160-meters) antenna, a rotatable beam at 35 feet for VHF (2 meters), and a 40/80-meter dipole. Amateur Radio operators across east central Florida helped operate through the event, including members of the Platinum Coast Amateur Radio Society from Brevard County, the Treasure Coast Weather Net (TCWN), Martin County ARES/RACES, the Daytona Beach Amateur Radio Association, and the Vero Beach Amateur Radio Club. 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. Also, a special thank you goes out to GAP Antenna Products, Inc. for providing us the use of the GAP Voyager.
The 2013 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)