Friday, July 24, 2009

The History of Triad SKYWARN

1980's - Our origins can be dated back prior to the 1984 "Carolina's Outbreak" of tornadoes which brought about an increased interest in the SKYWARN program across North Carolina.  Up until that time, the amateur radio effort out of the Greensboro National Weather Service Office was the only one in the state.

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)