Allen County Skywarn plans winter storm operations

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The National Weather Service forecasts a major winter storm for Allen County, Indiana and surrounding areas, beginning Wednesday morning, Feb. 2, 2022.

The Allen County Skywarn ham radio net plans special operations beginning at noon that day on the W9INX 146.88 MHz repeater.

This will not be a normal Skywarn net, because impacts of the winter storm develop more slowly than do impacts from severe weather like thunderstorms or tornadoes.

Instead, a net control station will conduct brief nets every hour on the hour. The net encourages all stations to participate by reporting any significant impacts of the storm, including power or communication outages, major road closures, and snowfall measurements (see this web page for instructions on taking snow measurements that will be useful to NWS). The net control station will use NWSChat, an internal, internet chat service, to relay impact reports to the Northern Indiana NWS office.

Allen County ARES does not expect to be needed to provide communications support during this week’s event. ARES leaders still encourage all members to prepare for possible activation. Should ARES activation be needed, relevant announcements will be made during the hourly Skywarn net, as well as via other ARES communication tools.

The hourly nets will continue as needed and as net control stations are available. It is likely that the hourly nets will pause during the overnight hours Wednesday and possibly resume Thursday morning. Contact net manager Jay Farlow, W9LW, arsw9lw@gmail.com with any questions.

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