SKYWARN - Severe weather reporting program

What is SKYWARN?

The effects of severe weather are felt every year by many Americans. To obtain critical weather information, NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, established SKYWARN® with partner organizations. SKYWARN® is a volunteer program with nearly 290,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

Although SKYWARN® spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of a SKYWARN® spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms. In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States. These events threatened lives and property.

Since the program started in the 1970s, the information provided by SKYWARN® spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods.

Learn more at the National SKYWARN web site: http://skywarn.org/
Binghamton NY NWS SKYWARN page: http://www.weather.gov/bgm/outreachSKYWARNtraining
Buffalo NY NWS SKYWARN page: http://www.weather.gov/buf/Skywarn
Albany NY NWS SKYWARN page:  http://www.weather.gov/aly/skywarn

In CNY you will usually find Amateur Radio Skywarn nets open when the NWS requests Skywarn activation on these local repeaters:

Primary local SKYWARN Amateur Radio Repeater frequencies:
(links to local SkyWarn information in blue)

Cayuga County - 147.00 PL 71.9
Cortland County - 147.18 PL 151.4
Jefferson & Lewis Counties - 147.255+ pl 151.4
Oneida/Madison County - 145.17
Onondaga County - 147.300
Oswego County - 147.15 PL 103.5
Seneca County - 147.00 PL 71.9
Tompkins County - 146.970  PL 103.5

Map of Central NY and Northern PA. SkyWarn Frequencies:
(removed temporarily for update 4/2017)

Map of Western NY and Northern NY Skywarn Frequencies: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/buf/freqmap.htm


How does SKYWARN work with Amateur Radio?
 Amateur radio volunteers generally operate a base station at the local National Weather Service Office during severe weather or other weather disaster emergencies.  Through a network of repeaters, volunteers at the local NWS office contact other amateurs -located in communities throughout New York State.  Storm information is collected at the base station for rapidly relayed by forecasters to the media, Emergency Management and Law Enforcement agencies, and the public.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the NWS and the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) is available here: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/buf/NWSARRLMOU.pdf

Why do HAMS make good SKYWARN Spotters?
Hams operate on emergency power when commercial power is lost so reports can still be received. Reports are received in a timely, efficient manner. Unlike police, fire, and other government emergency response persons, amateur radio operators have no jurisdictional boundaries. Amateur radio spotters are able and willing to perform their service for extended periods. SKYWARN spotters are trained to have a knowledge of severe weather characteristics not only to ensure they are able to recognize these, but also to avoid erroneously reporting non- hazardous conditions. Any amateur radio operator can become a SKYWARN spotter.

Severe Weather Page: http://forecast.weather.gov/hazards/BGM
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***Pass on a Severe Weather Report to the Binghamton N.Y.  National Weather Service office:
- by e-mail at  bgm.stormreport@noaa.gov
- or see complete listings at: http://www.weather.gov/bgm/stormreport
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NOAA weather radio frequencies: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/coverage/stations.php?State=NY


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