Skywarn Net Operations Protocol

Skywarn Net Operations Protocol


A Skywarn Net is established with the issuance of a Severe Thunderstorm Watch or Warning or a Tornado Watch or Warning. Most Skywarn Nets are operated from the Communication Rooms at the County's Emergency Operations Center where Skywarn operations work side by side with Homeland Security Department personnel assigned to the Skywarn event.

The Skywarn Net will be operated under one of the following four conditions depending on the type of weather statement issued.

Checking In To The Net


When a Skywarn net is in progress, please listen for instructions from net control to determine if net check-ins are being accepted. That announcement along with the current net condition should occur on a regular basis depending on current conditions. Do not check into the net unless net control asks for check-ins.

When checking in please providing the following in the order they are listed.

  • Your callsign in standard phonetics
  • Your Name
  • The city or township where you are located
  • The closest major crossroads to your location
  • Net control will acknowledge your check-in

Net Conditions



Standby Mode
A net is operated in Standby mode when a Watch has been issued by the NWS but radar indicates that no severe weather is expected to enter the County for a period of at least 1 hour. During Standby mode net control may or may not accept formal check-ins from spotter personnel. Net Control will issue periodic updates on the location and severity of weather while in Standby and operators are free to call in to Net Control with questions or comments.

Depending on conditions, net control may allow general use of the repeater. If this is the case we ask that extra time be allowed between transmissions so that net control may break in if there is a need to upgrade the net to another condition.

CONDITION GREEN:
Condition Green is used during a Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado WATCH. This condition is typically activated when there are storms in an adjacent county moving in the direction of Oakland County. This condition may continue if storms enter Oakland county but are not considered to be at severe levels. During Condition Green, net control requests check-ins from operators who are in the County and available to observe weather conditions. If any severe weather is present at your location please report it provided it meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • Clouds with rotation
  • Winds in excess of 40 miles per hour
  • Severe flooding with water over the curbs
  • Downed power lines
  • Hail 1/4 inch in size or larger
  • Funnel Clouds
  • Tornadoes

CONDITION YELLOW:
A net is placed in Condition Yellow when a Severe Thunderstorm WARNING is issued by the National Weather Service. Under Condition Yellow check-ins typically not permitted unless an operator has at least one of the following items to report.

  • Clouds with rotation
  • Winds in excess of 40 miles per hour
  • Severe flooding with water over the curbs
  • Downed power lines
  • Hail 1/2 inch in size or larger
  • Funnel Clouds
  • Tornadoes

It should be noted that, at the discretion of the net control operator, general check-ins may be allowed while the net is in Condition Yellow. This may occur when a Warning has been issued but the storm cell prompting the warning has not yet entered Oakland County. Please listen for direction from net control.

CONDITION RED:
Condition Red represents the most critical net Condition. A net is placed in Condition Red when the National Weather Service has issued a Tornado WARNING. Under Condition Red general check-ins are not allowed unless the operator has at least one of the following items to report.

  • Wall Clouds with rotation
  • Winds in excess of 55 miles per hour
  • Funnel Clouds
  • Tornadoes
  • Hail 1 inch in size or larger

General Check-ins will rarely be allowed while the net is in Condition Red. The air must be kept clear to allow reports of the above items to be made without interference. Once the warning has expired or been cancelled by the National Weather Service, the net will be downgraded to either Green or Yellow with check-ins allowed.

Post Event Check-in

On occasion, severe weather can come up with little to no warning. In these cases, the net may activate in condition Yellow or Condition RED. In these cases, Net control will typically downgrade the net to Condition Green and ask for general check-ins once the severe threat has passed. This allows operators that have been on the net to be placed on the list of activated stations for the net. After all check-ins have been completed net control will formally closing the net.