Category: SKYWARN

SKYWARN Recognition Day Update

Due to remodeling at the National Weather Service Office in Valley, Nebraska, they are unable to host this event.  This will be the first time that the Omaha/Valley office will not participate since the event began.     But they are looking forward to having us back out in 2019.

However, you can still get on the air and talk to many NWS stations around the country.

You can learn more about the event at:

If you are on Echolink:

Advanced Spotter Training

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED – All Seats are Spoken For!

Are you a SKYWARN spotter?  Have you attended a spotter training class in 2017 or 2018?  Then…
Douglas County ARES has arranged with Brian Smith, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service to present an Advanced Weather Spotting class for trained spotters in the Omaha Metro Area.  This training only happens every few years and covers more than the annual spotter training.

The Advanced Spotter training will be held on Thursday April 19th, 2018 at 7:00 pm at  Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services 10629 Burt Circle Omaha NE.

Attendees must have had in person spotter training in 2017 or 2018.

There is Limited Seating for this event.  To ensure seating,  attendees must sign up using the following link

The registration form will automatically close when the seating limit is reached.


SKYWARN plays a critical role in all types of severe weather emergencies and disaster responses. It is important to note that NWS’ technical abilities to forecast weather — use of radar, satellites, etc. — has improved our warning and reporting, but no technology can beat a report from a live observer on the ground. Thus, SKYWARN trained Amateur Radio operators/observers are extremely valuable to NWS forecast offices and ARES emergency coordinators.

Trained members of the Metro/Douglas County ARES respond to the NWS office in Valley, NE upon request of the NWS Staff to provide reports of severe weather across most of the office’s 38 county and surrounding counties.   These members serve as a liaison between the various county spotter groups and the NWS Forecast Office in Valley.  The NWS Station is equipped with FM/DSTAR/APRS and even has HF capability.    These members monitor not only the local repeaters but as many others as possible during severe weather.    With the 146.940(-) KØUSA’s wide coverage, many outlying communities report to the NWS office via that repeater.   While Douglas County ARES is the primary liaison operator provider, there is no MDARES membership requirement to be on the list to go to the NWS office.    There may be an operator at the NWS office even if no Severe Weather is threatening the immediate area.

Within Douglas County, spotters are requested by Douglas County EMA.  When a net is activated it will be called on the 146.940 KØUSA repeater.   Within Douglas County, spotters are deployed to fixed locations to observe the storm.  Chasing the storm is not permitted as a member of the MDARES.   Reports from all area amateur, deployed to a watch point or not, will be accepted by the NCS station.   The more reports there are the better the information is.      After the storm, reports from spotters and amateurs around the county can give both Douglas County EMA and the National Weather Service valuable information.

If you are interested in providing an invaluable public service during severe weather, have an amateur radio license and are willing to commit to training designed to improve skills as a severe weather spotter and as an effective communicator, we welcome you to the team.

SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD)

SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) will take place this year on Saturday, December 2from 0000 until 2400 UTC (starts on the evening of Friday, December 1, in US time zones). During the SKYWARN Special Event, ham radio operators will set up stations at National Weather Service (NWS) offices and contact other radio amateurs around the world.

Participating Amateur Radio stations will exchange a brief description of their current weather with as many NWS-based stations as possible on 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meters plus 70 centimeters. Contacts via repeaters are permitted.

The event runs from 0:00 Zulu to 23:59 Zulu on December 2nd.  Primary operations will start at about 9:00 am local time at the NWS Station is Valley NE.    Stop by between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm on Saturday and join in the fun.

SRD was developed jointly in 1999 by the NWS and ARRL to celebrate the contributions SKYWARN volunteers make to the NWS mission — the protection of life and property. Amateur Radio operators, which comprise a large percentage of SKYWARN volunteers, also provide vital communication between the NWS and emergency managers, if normal communications become inoperative.