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Metro Skywarn Backgrounder

Metro Skywarn Fact Sheet

Metro Skywarn FAQ

Amateur Radio Emergency Communications

Severe Thunderstorm Fact Sheet

Tornado Fact Sheet

Skywarn Spotter Reports

Ever wonder what kinds of observations Skywarn spotters call in to report? Occasionally, the National Weather Service will ask for reports about specific conditions, if they need visual confirmation for a particular storm. However, Skywarn spotters most typically report only the following conditions, as taught in our training classes:

yellow arrow bulletTornado: BREAK IN and report
yellow arrow bulletFunnel Cloud: Report immediately
yellow arrow bulletRotating Wall Cloud: Observe 1 to 3 minutes and report
yellow arrow bulletNon-Rotating Wall Cloud: Observe 5 to 10 minutes and report
yellow arrow bulletHail: Any size; largest, average, depth on ground
yellow arrow bulletSignificant Flooding: By moving water (NOT ponding)
yellow arrow bulletHigh Wind Damage: Branches > 3 inches, roofs torn off

Skywarn spotters communicate via amateur radio on one or more amateur radio repeaters: 147.12 Mhz, 146.925 Mhz, 147.00 Mhz and 147.21 Mhz. Backup repeaters will be used as required, and ANNOUNCED by the Duty NCS based on storm track and availability of the repeaters. Spotters who are not amateur radio operators licensed by the FCC can become a member of the e.spotter program and send in their observations directly to the National Weather Service via their website.


Cronkite Narrates Video About Amateur Radio 9/11 Response

"Dozens of radio amateurs helped the police and fire departments and other emergency services maintain communications in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC," narrator Cronkite intones in reference to ham radio's response on September 11, 2001. "Their country asked, and they responded without reservation." The video presentation, directed by Dave Bell, W6AQ, and narrated by former CBS news anchorman Walter Cronkite, KB2GSD, also a ham, runs approximately six minutes. Free download -- MPEG format.


Storm Shelter
With the start of the severe weather season in the Upper Midwest, knowing how to protect yourself can mean the difference between life and death.0

Read about SKYWARN's involvement in the December 2000 Tuscaloosa, Alabama F4 tornado.


Meteorology Glossary
This is an excellent and comprehensive glossary of meteorology terms. Need a definition? Look it up here!

Extreme Weather Sourcebook
Follow this link to get comprehensive data on weather-related disasters in Minnesota (and all U.S. states)!

The Tornado Project Online
More information than you could ever ask for about tornadoes.

National Weather Service--Twin Cities
Complete weather data from our local National Weather Service office.

NOAA Weather Radio
Everyone should have one. Do you? Find out why they are so important.

National Severe Storms Laboratory
An excellent source of severe weather information.

Highway Overpasses as Tornado Shelters: Fallout From the 3 May 1999 Oklahoma/Kansas Violent Tornado Outbreak
This is an excellent presentation that explains why highway overpasses should NOT be used as shelters from tornadoes. Learn more about the dangers associated with them!

Severe Storms On-line Meteorology Guide
This site is full of interesting extreme weather information.

Travel the Tornado Scale
See a great interactive representation of the damage caused by various sized tornadoes.

Owlie Skywarn is the official mascot of the NWS (NOAA) and FEMA. Learn about severe weather safety from him. This is an excellent resource for children.

Please direct all media inquiries to:
Lara Rodriguez, WXØGRL
Public Relations Director

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