Download the Allen County Skywarn Net Operations Manual (PDF file):
Many members of the Fort Wayne Radio Club participate in the National Weather Service (NWS) Skywarn® program. These members serve as volunteer storm spotters, using their radios to relay reports of certain severe weather phenomena to the Northern Indiana NWS weather forecast office (WFO) near North Webster.
During periods of severe weather, the Allen County, Indiana Skywarn ham radio net meets on the ACARTS 146.88 MHz repeater. The FWRC 146.94 MHz repeater serves as an alternate, should the 146.88 repeater be unavailable. Because of the wide coverage area of the Fort Wayne repeaters, spotters from locations outside Allen County, Indiana are welcome to use the Allen County Skywarn net to relay their reports to the NWS.
Two net modes
The net has two modes: Standby (watch) mode and Directed Net (warning) mode.
Standby Mode: Normal repeater use continues but operators should keep transmissions short and leave enough time between transmissions to allow spotters to break in. A net control station monitors for such reports. Stations should call “Skywarn” to make a report or inquiry (e.g. “Skywarn, this is N9XAA”) The 146.88 MHz repeater sends a Morse code “W” as a reset tone. The 146.88 MHz repeater controller occasionally makes a “weather watch” voice announcement.
Directed Net Mode: Normal repeater use is suspended. A net control station directs all communications. Check-ins are accepted only from stations that have a spotter report to make at the time. Stations should remain off the air until and unless they have a report that conforms to NWS reporting criteria (e.g. tornado, funnel cloud, wall cloud, wind damage, flash flood). To check in with a report, stations should transmit their call signs phonetically, followed by the type of report, and then wait for acknowledgement before transmitting the details (e.g. “November nine x-ray alpha alpha, funnel cloud.”). Any appropriately licensed station, regardless of location, including visitors to the area, are welcome to make reports following the procedure above. The 146.88 MHz repeater sends a Morse code “N” as a reset tone. The 146.88 MHz repeater controller occasionally makes a “weather net” voice announcement.
For more detailed information, see the operations manual for the Allen County SKYWARN net (download link above).
Allen County Skywarn works closely with the Allen County Office of Homeland Security. Check out its web page for valuable emergency management information!
Below are links to additional information and news about SKYWARN operations.
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