During the afternoon, advanced session of the Allen County Severe Weather Seminar March 28, 2020, Jay Farlow, W9LW, presented resources to help storm spotters plan their days and maintain situational awareness during severe weather. Below are descriptions of the resources he mentioned. Colored text indicates a clickable link.
NWS Information Products
SPC convective outlooks. Click the link at left and bookmark the page to which it takes you. From there, you can select the Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, or Day 4-8 outlooks. The Storm Prediction Center issues these outlooks daily, at approximately at following times (EDT, all times are one hour earlier during EST):
Thanks to FWRC members Larry Temenoff, KB9OS; Paul Prestia, KA3OPZ; and Tom Rupp, KU8T, Echolink services have returned to our 146.91 MHz repeater and it’s operating again at full power.
The repeater is on the Purdue Fort Wayne campus and uses an internet connection provided by the university for Echolink services. To protect the Echolink computer from cyber attack, the university required that we install a router between the university’s network and our computer. Larry donated a router and Paul configured and installed it.
Tom repaired and reinstalled the repeater’s power amplifier, which now puts out 80 watts.
The Allen County Amateur Radio Emergency Service regrets to announce that it has cancelled the Allen County Severe Weather Seminar, originally scheduled for March 28, at the main branch of the Allen County Public Library.
ARES took the action after hearing an explanation this afternoon by Allen County health commissioner, Deborah McMahan, M.D. In a nutshell, she said it is important for people to avoid all unnecessary personal contact, to help keep hospitals and other parts of the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed or worse, closing. By canceling events and staying home, we probably won’t prevent eventual transmission of COVID-19 countywide, but we might be able to stagger transmission, so we don’t have everyone (including healthcare workers) ill at the same time.
It is in support of that tactic – staggered disease transmission – that ARES canceled the seminar.
ARES doesn’t know at this time whether it will be able to reschedule, because it depends on too many factors. These include when officials like McMahan stop recommending social distancing, speaker availability and venue availability. It is conceivable that if ARES reschedules, it won’t happen until a year from now.
While you’re practicing social distancing by staying home, ARES has some online resources to recommend.
The MetEd (Meteorology Education) website has an excellent,
course on storm spotting. It’s great for anyone who has never been to a
storm spotter class, and it’s also a good refresher for those who have.
Everything on the MetEd website is free, including more
advanced classes, such as:
Radar Fundamentals, a single module, presents the fundamental principles of
Doppler weather radar operation and how to interpret common weather phenomena
using radar imagery.
Summer Severe Weather,
a seven-module course that covers the basic principles of warm-season
convective (rising air) weather with the aim of improving the prediction of
significant and severe convection.
Another good resource is Thunderstorms – An Introduction,
offered on the website of Spotter Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated
to helping the National Weather Service receive timely severe weather reports.
You must join the organization to take the course, but there’ no fee to join
and there are other benefits.
The elected Indiana leader of the ARRL, the national association for amateur radio, has requested that all Indiana amateur (ham) radio clubs suspend club activities in Indiana from March 12 through April 1, 2020. Indiana section manager Jimmy Merry, KC9RPX announced his request in an email message this morning. The full text of Merry’s message appears on the Indiana ARRL Facebook page.
The ARRL has created a web page to list hamfests and conventions that organizers have canceled or postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, announced central division director Kermit Carlson, W9XA, via email.
Carlson also shared that the Federal Communications Commission has advised employees that “unless it is absolutely necessary for them to work from the office because they cannot otherwise accomplish their work, they should telework” beginning March 13, until further notice.”
March 2, the Fort Wayne Radio Club once again prepared to
hold its monthly fox (hidden transmitter) hunt, starting at 1:30 p.m. local
time. Since the winner of the previous hunt, Don, K9LI, was not available to be
the fox, the second-place team of W9LAN, W9SAN, and their grandson Alex Smith
went off in search of a suitable hiding place somewhere in Allen County. Linda
and Steve had been surveying sites for the previous two weekends and decided to
reactivate a site that had been used many years ago, the Hanson Quarry observation
tower on Sandpoint Road, not far from former Elmhurst High School site on the
city’s southwest side. The weather was unusually warm, and the sun was shining;
it was looking like that ground hog in Pennsylvania was right this year! The
mood of the foxes was also unusually wacky, as the hunters were about to
Back at the starting location, the veteran team of Al Burke,
WB9SSE; Carol Burke, WB9RUS; Jim Pliett, K9OMA; and Muriel Pliett, KA9YYI were
ready, along with Charles, KC9MUT and his young daughter. Then some newbies
showed up. It was the OM and YL team of Adam and Meghan Warrix, KD9NRT and
KD9ODP, along with new FWRC director Spencer Cassady, KD9NRS. The Pliett/Burke
team took Spencer on board their vehicle, and Meghan and Adam joined KC9MUT and
daughter as ride-alongs in his truck.
The Fort Wayne Radio Club (FWRC) is celebrating its centennial by offering a commemorative certificate to any amateur radio station who logs at least 100 contacts with FWRC members between Jan. 1, 2020 and 0500 UTC Jan. 1, 2021.
The club is calling the event, “100 years, 100 Contacts.” Anyone who wishes to receive the operating award must make 100 contacts with FWRC members using any band, mode, or amateur equipment. Participants may count contacts with the same FWRC member multiple times per day, but only if each contact is on a different band, mode, or combination of both. Participants must make contact with minimum of 25 different FWRC members. During each contact, stations must exchange call signs, names, cities, signal report, rig description, antenna description, and state, province or country. “Rag chewing” (extended conversation) is encouraged.
A list of FWRC members (i.e., stations that can be counted toward the certificate) is available on the FWRC website.
Participants may create logs using any logging program. To receive a certificate, they must either send via email a file containing only the Fort Wayne Radio Club members contacted, including contact information, date, time, mode and band, to email@example.com, or send paper logs (as done 100 years ago) via post to:
Clark Derbyshire, KG9FM 4107 North Drive Fort Wayne, IN 46815
All certificates will be sent via email, so participants must provide a valid email address.