Listen for the SKYWARN Information Net, every Thursday evening at 2100 hrs. (9:00pm) on the WA3BXW's B.E.A.R.S. repeater system (147.300+)(pl 131.8). This Net is for SKYWARN Coordinators and Net Controllers to check in and pass the latest traffic from the NWS, SKYWARN Tech Committee, and the 34 counties serviced by Mount Holly NWS. Spotters are encouraged to check in for information involving SKYWARN.What is SKYWARN?
It's a National Weather Service (NWS) program of trained volunteer severe weather spotters. Formed in the early 1970’s it has been invaluable in providing information to the NWS in time to get the appropriate warnings issued. SKYWARN is a program that saves lives and property through observations and reports from trained volunteers.
With all the modern technology at their disposal the NWS can only determine the potential for severe weather and what is happening above ground level. They must still rely on the public, law enforcement personnel, and trained weather spotters for information as to what is really happening on the ground. Accurate and reliable info from the general public is often difficult to get. That’s why the NWS has found that having trained weather spotters increases the quality of the information they receive. Also with the Federal Government cutting back on their budget and manpower the NWS must rely more on us to be their eyes in the field.
Severe weather can cause major civil disasters as proven time and time again with heavy snowfall, massive flooding, and of course Hurricane and Tornado damage. Evidence of this is broadcast on the news locally and through out the country. The NWS may also utilize SKYWARN to maintain close coordination with the Red Cross and Emergency Management through Amateur Radio Operators. SKYWARN is formally acknowledged and encouraged in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the ARRL and the NWS. This agreement states that the ARRL will encourage its local volunteers operating as ARES to provide spotters as requested by the NWS during times of severe weather.
In this area of the country we receive our weather forecast and warnings from the Mount Holly, NJ office of the NWS. Mount Holly is responsible for 34 Counties in NJ, DE, MD, and PA. They have a close working relationship with the Weather Channel and a lot of what you see on TV is provided by the NWS.
Becoming a NWS Weather Spotter is a great opportunity for Hams that want to become involved with Public Service. SKYWARN is ideal for people who usually do not have time, or the means of getting active in other Public Service programs. From the comfort of your home, at work, or driving somewhere, you can check into a SKYWARN NET and describe what you see! This is a very easy and effective way of helping our communities, and showing others what being a HAM is all about. -Buff
The Bucks County SKYWARN Net activates as needed on the Bears 147.300 + PL:131.8 repeater.