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Skywarn

 


Click here for the 2013 Skywarn Training schedule.

 

 

Please see the Nation Weather Service site for details:
https://apps.weather.gov/outreach/MI.php

 

 

The National Weather Service of the U.S. Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and cooperating organizations have established Skywarn Spotter Networks in order to secure critical information on severe local storms.

Skywarn is an effort to save lives during severe weather emergencies by expanding networks of spotters and by encouraging the widest possible participation in tornado warning programs. There is no way to stop tornadoes, and not all tornados show up on radar, but they can be seen. Lives can be saved. Only one instrument can detect a tornado or funnel with complete certainty the human eye. More concern, more spotters, more eyes are needed. lend us yours - learn Skywarn.

Skywarn Net Conditions and Colors  

Three basic net operational conditions and colors are currently in use for our weather/Skywarn Nets:

CONDITION GREEN:

Condition Green is used during a THUNDERSTORM WATCH or a TORNADO WATCH. During Condition Green, check-ins are requested. If any severe weather is to be reported, the following should be included: 

            Funnel Clouds
            Winds in excess of 40 miles per hour
           
Tornadoes
           
Severe flooding with water over the curbs
           
Downed power lines.

CONDITION YELLOW:

Condition Yellow is used during a THUNDERSTORM WARNING. During Condition Yellow, check-ins are NOT requested; however stations are encouraged to give reports of severe weather. If any severe weather is to be reported, the following should be included: 

           Funnel Clouds
            Winds in excess of 40 miles per hour
           
Tornadoes
           
Severe flooding with water over the curbs
           
Downed power lines
            Hail 1 inch in size or larger.  

CONDITION RED:

Condition Red is used during a TORNADO WARNING. During Condition Red, check-ins are NOT requested; however stations are encouraged to give reports of severe weather. If any severe weather is to be reported, the following should be included:

            Funnel clouds
                  Winds in excess of 55 miles per hour
           
Tornadoes
           
Downed power lines
           
Hail 1 inch in size or larger.

STANDBY NET:

A standby net may be used when conditions are not currently threatening Oakland County, however a net control operator is standing by to pass information.

 

USEFUL INFORMATION

Estimating Hail Size


Pea size: ¼” diameter
Marble size: ½” diameter
Dime size’ ¾” diameter
Quarter size’ 1” diameter
Golf ball size 1 ¾” diameter
Baseball size 2 ¾” diameter

Estimating Wind Speed (Miles Per Hour)

25-31      Large branches in motion; whistling telephone lines

32-38      Whole trees in motion; inconvenience felt walking against wind

39-54      Twigs break of trees; wind generally impedes progress.

55-72      Damage to chimneys and TV antennas; wind pushes over shallow rooted trees.

73-113    Wind peels surface off roofs; windows broken; mobile trailers pushed or overturned; moving automobiles pushed off roads.

113-157  Roofs torn off houses; weak buildings and mobile homes destroyed; large trees snapped and uprooted,

158+       Severe damage. Cars lifted off the ground.

   

IMPORTANT TELEPHONE NUMBERS

Oakland County Emergency Response and Preparedness: (248)858-5300

ARPSC Radio Desk: (248)858-5551

NWS Spotter Hotline: (800)808-0006

 

PROCEDURE FOR INITIATING SKYWARN NETS

SITUATION ONE: OAKLAND COUNTY ACTIVATES HAMS

1. OC ER&P contacts hams on call-up list indicating that a net is required. (Information based on NWS reports, etc.)
2. Hams start net from individual's home until OC Op Center is manned.
3. When ham is at the County Operations Center, the net is transferred from individual's home to OC Operations Center.
4. Net 'color' conditions are stated by ham radio operators based on criteria posted at the OC ham radio Operations Center and only indicate the condition of the radio net:
    Green: NWS issues Severe Thunderstorm WATCH
    Yellow: NWS issues Severe Thunderstorm WARNING or Tornado WATCH
    Red: NWS issues Tornado WARNING

SITUATION TWO: NWS ISSUES ALERT AND OC ER&P IS NOT ACTIVATED

1. Hams included in notification (Goldberg, Hornsby, Thompson, Walden, and Kaufman) go on a standby mode awaiting instruction from OC ER&P staff.
2. Notified hams monitor NWS MICON (17 County) Amateur Radio Net reports.
3. No further ham activity until activated by OC ER&P.

RATIONALE:

ARPSC Hams are only activated by a call from OC ER&P office. Any other activation is done at the sole responsibility of the individual ham. The reason for this is that any activation that is not initiated by OC ER&P Office does not provide liability coverage for the individual ham. Hams may be asked to activate to provide communications to neighboring Counties or communities and, under this condition, would expect that liability coverage would be provided by that organization.

Note: You may hear weather conditions being broadcast over local radio, TV or cable systems. This does not indicate that our SKYWARN net is activated. These should alert you to turn to the W8OAK repeater system and monitor it for information. Oakland County ER&P's policy is to go active when there is an indication of a storm approaching the County and the storm system is approximately one hour away from the County's borders. If you take the time to listen, you will hear if the system is active. It is not necessary to make a call to find out if a net is up and running. 

 

Oakland County Michigan ARPSC - All Rights Reserved 2013

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