Skywarn

Skywarn logoSkywarn is a program of the National Weather Service.  Its mission is to collect reports of localized severe weather.  These reports are used to aid forecasters in issuing and verifying severe weather watches and warnings, improve the forecasting and warning processes, and the tools used to collect meteorological data.  It consists of a network of severe storm spotters that observe weather conditions and make reports of severe weather to their local NWS offices.

Cleveland NWS

The National Weather Service office in Cleveland services the counties from Toledo to Erie, PA, Lake Erie to just north of Columbus.  Frequencies of county nets, district nets, and the backbone are available for Hams or scanner listeners on the Cleveland Skywarn Amateur Radio operations page.

Training

The Cleveland office sponsors Skywarn Spotter Training in March and April, just before severe weather season.

Cuyahoga County Skywarn

LEARA supports the Cleveland NWS office and Cuyahoga County Skywarn. Cuyahoga County Skywarn is responsible for coordinating the Skywarn spotters who are also licensed amateur radio operators.  Cuyahoga County Skywarn is also responsible for providing operators to staff the amateur radio station at the National Weather Service Office in Cleveland, Ohio to quickly relay severe weather reports to the forecasters.  Please visit their site for more information on how to become a spotter or get involved with operations.  The 146.760 repeater is used as the primary repeater and the 146.880 repeater is used as a backup repeater.

Practice Net

The Skywarn Practice Net is every Wednesday night at 8:30 PM local time during severe weather season, early March through the end of September, on the 146.760 repeater with 146.880 as a backup.  A practice net maybe signified by a Morse-code "P" (· - - ·) courtesy tone on the repeater.  Skywarn Practice Net details are on our Nets page.

Weather Alerts

The 76 repeater monitors NOAA weather radio frequencies and broadcasts tornado watches & warnings and thunderstorm watches & warnings for Cuyahoga County.  The weekly Emergency Alert System (EAS) test will be heard too.

Data and attention tones heard are the same one would hear tuning to a broadcast radio or TV station during an event. If there is a QSO taking place on the repeater at the time of the alert, it will delay playing the alert until the repeater is free.

An active watch/warning for Cuyahoga likely means Skywarn activation is eminent.

Activation

Skywarn is typically activated when the National Weather Service has issued a watch, warning, or when weather conditions potentially threaten life and property in Cuyahoga County.

If a QSO is taking place on any frequency and a Skywarn Net Control Station breaks in, the stations carrying on the QSO must sign and make the frequency available for Skywarn.

Stand By Mode

A Standby Weather Net is activated anytime severe weather is expected to threaten Cuyahoga County soon, but no warning has been issued yet.  This maybe signified by a Morse-code "S" (· · ·) courtesy tone on the repeater.  During a Standby Weather Watch, all stations are free to contact each other without permission from net control.  However, they are asked to please keep transmissions short; and yield to breaking stations, as they may have traffic to pass.

Severe Weather Mode

A Directed Severe Weather Net is activated anytime NWS issues a severe weather WARNING for Cuyahoga County.  During a directed severe weather net, the repeater is closed and all traffic must pass through net control.  This maybe signified by a Morse-code letter "W" (· - -).  Stations may transmit only if they have a report that meets the criteria as directed by the Skywarn Net Control.

NOAA Weather Radio

NOAA Weather radio and public service scanner frequencies can be found on our Northeast Ohio Emergency Communications page.