Friday, July 24, 2009
El Niño Arrives; Expected to Persist through Winter 2009-10
* 2009 Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 24th - May 30th 2009)
History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the affects of a hurricane disaster.
The goal of Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 24th - May 30th 2009) is to is to provide knowledge which can be used to take action and protect lives and property while at work or at home, whether on the road or on the water.
You should be able to answer the following questions before a tropical system threatens:
- What are the hazards
- How will this affect me
- What actions should I take to be prepared
In order to assist you with decision making and common sense, each day this week the National Weather Service has highlighted a different topic relating to the history, affects, forecasts, preparedness and actions required when confronting land falling tropical systems such as hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions; these topics and their appropriate links are listed below:
Sunday - Hurricane History
Monday - Storm Surge
Tuesday - High Winds
Wednesday - Inland Flooding
Thursday - Forecast Process
Friday - Be Prepared
Saturday - Take Action
It is important for your family/work to have a plan that includes the potential hazards. Look carefully at the safety actions associated with each type of tropical system hazard and prepare your family/work disaster plan accordingly.
(More information can be found by visiting the following web site: National Hurricane Preparedness Week )
* NATIONAL LIGHTNING AWARENESS WEEK - JUNE 21st - 27
Lightning is one of the most deadly and damaging types of weather we face here in North Carolina and it typically does not receive enough attention.
In the United States, an average of 62 people are killed each year by lightning. Already in 2009, 15 people have died due to lightning strikes. In 2008, 28 people were struck and killed by lighting in the U.S.; hundreds of others were injured. Of the victims who were killed by lightning in 2008:
- 100% were outside
- 79% were male
- 36% were males between the ages of 20-25
- 32% were standing under a tree
- 29% occurred on or near the water
For more information regarding lightning safety, please visit the following web page:
The History of Triad SKYWARN
1991 - First formally organized as "Greensboro SKYWARN" through the former Greensboro National Weather Service Office. This was the first effort to bring an existing amateur radio "Weather Net" that dated back to prior to 1984 into a formal NWS SKYWARN Organization. During this time, NWS SKYWARN Protocols and formal Spotter Training Classes were initiated.
1994 - Became "Triad SKYWARN" after the National Weather Service re-organization which decommissioned the old Greensboro NWS Office at Piedmont Triad International Airport. (Incidentally, NWS weather balloon launches continue out of PTI on a daily basis.)
1994 - With the re-organization of NWS Offices and their respective County Warning Areas (CWAs), Triad SKYWARN began serving the Raleigh National Weather Service Office, as well as a second National Weather Service Office in Blacksburg, VA due to the inclusion of the Virginia border counties of Surry, Stokes, Rockingham and Caswell into their newly defined CWA.
2002 - Triad SKYWARN moved its primary operating frequency from 145.250 mhz W4GG repeater to the newly commissioned 147.255 mhz K4ITL Asheboro repeater due to its ability to cover the entire 12 counties within the Triad SKYWARN area.
2003 - With the inactivity of the former "Sandhills SKYWARN Program", Triad SKYWARN expanded from 9 to 12 counties with the adoption of Stanly, Montgomery and Moore Counties by request from the NWS Raleigh Office.
Triad SKYWARN has a long history of volunteer public service to the National Weather Service over the past 35+ years, including many memorable severe and winter weather events which have had a significant impact on central North Carolina, and we look forward to continuing to enhance the NWS forecasts many years into the future by providing "ground truth" observations during inclement weather events.
(Historical data provided by the present and former Emergency Coordiantors of the Greensboro/Triad SKYWARN Progarm: Steve Marks - N4SCM, Bill Boyes - KB1G and John Hamilton - NC4JH)
What is Triad SKYWARN?
Weekly Information Nets
- Local Amateur Check-Ins
- Announcements from the Leadership Team
- A Training Topic for Spotters (when applicable)
Net Control Stations (NCS)
Severe Weather Nets
- Standby - Severe weather is threatening but has not entered the area.
- Active - Severe weather has entered the area and Skywarn Net Control Stations are taking and soliciting reports from the coverage area
- Emergency - Severe weather is impacting a specific location and the NCS is soliciting specific reports from a certain location.
Reporting Criteria for SKYWARN
Severe Weather Reporting Criteria
- Rotating Wall clouds, Funnel clouds, Tornadoes
- Hail any size initially, then the largest size (reference objects like coins, golf balls, etc.)
- Winds that cause damage to large limbs and structures
- Rains that flood areas that are not normally prone to flooding
- Significant storm damage: downed trees or power lines
Rain Event Reporting Procedures
From time to time the National Weather Service requests information from spotters on rain amounts across the Triad. Please monitor this website, the yahoo group and the net frequency to get notified the time schedule for reporting. When it is requested, the net will activate to collect the following information:
- Total amount of rain having fallen since Midnight
- Amount of rain having fallen in the last hour
- Amount of rain having fallen since the last report
- Other variables requested by NWS
Winter Weather Reporting Procedures
Nets are regularly requested by the National Weather Service during times of Winter Weather events. Please monitor this webpage, the yahoo group and the net frequency to get notified of the time schedule for Winter Weather Nets. Below are the conditions that are normally requested by the National Weather Service in Raleigh. (Net Control Operators can use this form for reporting purposes)
- Precipitation Type
- Precipitation Rate (light, moderate, heavy)
- Changes in Precipitation Type
- Wind Speed and Direction
- Sustained Power Outages (not on and off blinks)