WEATHER RADIO LISTENERS NEWS LETTER ISSUE 17 – NOVEMBER 07, 2015
Welcome to the 17th issue of the Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter. In this issue, we havemuch the same exciting articles you have come to know throughout the last 16 issues of the newsletter. There may also be a few new things thrown in there, to keep you interested. Please read on and enjoy.
Hello, this is your friendly author welcoming you to the 17th issue of the Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter. It is the fall and next comes my least favourite season of the year. However, the one consolation for me is that I get to hear all the watches and warnings related to the snow and ice that may be issued in the next few months on my Weather Radio or on my various weather apps.
Also, it is the 4th anniversary of the newsletter and I thought I would give my co-author and co-editor (Dennis VA3DTP) a chance to talk about how we do what we do, from his end, in order for this to be published. In my case as the main author, I compose each issue either using my notes app on the iPhone or in a massive email. Some copy and pasting is done to and that’s how I compose each issue, in a nutshell.
One more thing, you may also notice that I haven’t included net results from the Weather Radio Net in this issue and the reason is, that there is not a reliable website for me to go to anymore, in order to verify names and callsigns for stations who check into the net for the first time or irregularly. Also, the correct spelling is important for obvious reasons. Yes, there is QRZ and other sites that list callsigns and QTH but they aren’t as reliable or as simple to navigate as other websites I have previously visited for this purpose. If this changes in my favour in the future I may reinstate net results into the newsletter. In the mean time, I have sent out the results to other hams on the mailing list. After all, it is a ham radio net and not a podcast. Speaking of which, I’ve been considering one but I don’t have equipment necessary to get it off the ground as yet. Maybe that will change, maybe not.
Anyway, we both hope you all have a great Christmas and in general, a great holiday season next month. Let’s also be safe and hopefully spring comes early in 2016.
CO-EDITORS COMMENTS – DENNIS VA3DTP
Good day everyone. This 17th issue represents several years of reviewing and editing and sprucing up Gord’s weather radio newsletters. A little history at first…..I became friends with Gord and many other ham radio operators through my mobile radio while driving back and forth to work from Niagara Falls to Mississauga starting March 2010, through VHF 147.015 VE3OAK Oakville Repeater. In 2011, Gord was keen on starting up a Weather Radio Group through use of newsletters, weather radio net, weather radio website on QRZ, etc. At one time he had had asked me for a favor to check and edit his first news letter. Issue #1 was published during November / December of 2011, and was only four pages at the time. Since then as we all know, the newsletter has grown in size, and he has developed a good following of interested individuals now, through the various internet media Gord has migrated to using to his benefit. Gord being blind from birth, has made use of many technological electronic equipment to his advantage in order to enjoy his hobbies and accomplish his various communications through various media.
Regarding the creation of the newsletter, Gord sends me an email, only after he creates his next issue of the newsletter using his iPhone and an external keyboard. I copy all of the text and links and paste them into directly MS Word first, using paste special function. The paragraphs are separated, and subtitles are created to identify particular sections where needed including formatting. Finally spelling and grammar are checked, and at times the wording is changed when required for clarification. Borders are added and photographic images of various weather patterns are added. Even a picture of Gord himself is generally included in all newsletters. When all is completed and checked, the document is then turned into a PDF file, emailed to Gord, to which he distributes to his various groups.
On a final note, Gord and I have met in person on several occasions, usually for lunch. I even have purchased two weather radios (one portable, one home station) based upon his recommendations.
WEATHER RADIO CONSUMER SAFETY REPORT
From the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
Weather Radio Recall Date: August 13, 2015
Recall Details: About 12,500 Units
Description: This recall involves Ambient Weather radios. The weather radios are red and black and measure about 8 inches wide by 4 inches tall by 2 inches deep. “Ambient Weather,” “AM/FM/Weather Band Radio” and “NOAA Weather Radio” are printed in white lettering on the front of the radio. The radios have a black crank handle on the back, an antenna on the top, a single LED flashlight on the left side, a clip on the right side and a cable to charge a smart phone.
Model number WR-334-U or WR-334A-U is printed in the owner’s manual. The AC power adapter is black and has a rounded back. Model number YHD0500500U is printed on a white sticker on the adapter.
The firm has received three reports of fire and smoke in the back battery area of the weather radios. No injuries have been reported.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled weather radios and contact Ambient Weather for a free replacement AC power adapter. Sold at Online at AmbientWeather.com and Amazon.com from November 2012 through December 2013 for about $60.
Importer(s) Ambient Weather, of Chandler, Ariz.
Manufactured in China
*** Thanks to Daryl Stout for this article.
FROM THE BLOG
Please note that this review was published soon after I bought the unit. I have since got the hang of most, if not all the functionality of it.
THE WATCHDOG REPORT
If you hear anything that doesn’t sound right on your local Weather Radio transmitter, there are various ways to report a problem that depend on where you live. If you live in The United States, you can call 1-888-697-7263. You can email NOAA at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the web at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr. If you live in Canada, you can call 1-877-789-7733. You can email the Meteorological Service Of Canada at ECWeather-Meteo@ec.gc.ca, or email the National Weatheradio Canada Team at Wxradio@ec.gc.ca. You can also go on the web at http://www.ec.gc.ca/weatheradio. Also, you can report it on the NOAA Weather Radio Weatheradio Canada Facebook page and the Yahoo Weatheradio Chat Group. You will find the link to the Yahoo group later in this issue and all issues of the newsletter.
On Sunday August 9th at 12:00 AT, XLK473 went into watchdog mode. It came back on Monday August 10th sometime in the morning. Thanks to Brian Rodgers for this, courtesy of the NOAA Weather Radio and Weatheradio Canada Facebook Group.
WEEKLY SAME AND 1050 Hz. TONE TEST REPORT
The following are reports from listeners on the weekly (rwt), monthly (rmt) SAME tests sent to each site in Canada. However, it is not complete so we need you to send your reports to the author as well as Wxradio@ec.gc.ca. Remember, the 1050Hz Tone test and SAME Required Monthly Test is performed on the first Wednesday of each month just before noon local time. The SAME Required Weekly Test is performed every Wednesday around 11:50 local time.
Date Call Sign Tx Frequency (MHz) Name alphanumeric or basic tone alert test alarm time
Wednesday August 5th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:53 AM, (RMT) 11:57 AM, (1050 TONE) 11:59 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:55 AM, (RMT) 12:01 PM, (1050 TONE) 12:00 PM local.
Wednesday August 12th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 A.M. local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM local.
Wednesday August 19th, Ottawa (VBE719 162.550 MHz) (RWT) 11:55 A.M, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM
Wednesday August 26th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Ottawa (VBE719 162.550 MHz) (RWT) 11.53 A.M. local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM local.
Wednesday September 2nd, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM, (RMT) 11:57 AM, (1050 Hz. tone) 12:00 PM local, Ottawa (VBE719) SAME test 11:55 AM and 1050 Hz tone 12:00 PM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM, (RMT) 12:00 PM, (1050 Hz. tone) 12:00 PM local.
Wednesday September 9th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 A.M. local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 A.M. local.
Wednesday September 16th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM local.
Wednesday September 23rd, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM local
Wednesday September 30th St Catharines VAD320 162.475 MHz (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto XMJ225 162.400 MHz (RWT) 11:54 AM local.
Wednesday October 7th 2015, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM, (RMT) 11:57 AM, (1050 Hz. tone alert) 11:59 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM, (RMT) 11:59 AM, (1050 Hz. tone alert) 11:59 AM local.
Wednesday October 14st, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Ottawa VBE719 (162.550 MHz) (RWT) 11:54 A.M. local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM local. 🙂
Wednesday October 21, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 A.M. local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 A.M. local.
Wednesday October 28th St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 A.M. local, Ottawa (VBE719 162.550 MHz) (RWT) 11:53 A.M local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:54 AM local.
THE CANWARN / SKYWARN REPORT
CANWARN (CANadian Weather Amateur Radio Network) is a volunteer organization of amateur radio operators who report severe weather and damage reports to Environment Canada when they see it. Weather reports from amateur radio operators help confirm on the ground what satellites and radars see in the atmosphere. The information gathered from CANWARN is also used to update and fine tune weather warnings, fill in gaps in current observing networks and is also valuable in forensic storm analysis. When Environment Canada issues severe weather watches or warnings, they may alert the CANWARN volunteer Net Controllers in the affected areas. The volunteer Net Controllers contact other CANWARN members on the amateur radio, tell them a watch or warning has been issued and ask them to report signs of approaching severe weather. In the US SKYWARN is the American counterpart to CANWARN in Canada and the purpose for it is exactly the same.
For this section of the newsletter, we will explore how different CANWARN and SKYWARN groups operate in their local region, from time to time. There may be some SKYWARN information from meteorologists in this issue and there will be some tips on how to report severe weather for both CANWARN and SKYWARN. We may not agree with everything that is written here, but it is important to hear from others to see how different groups operate throughout North America.
SKYWARN Recognition Day will be on December 5, 2015. For more on that here is the link.
As for SKYWARN training schedules, you can go to either of the following sites:
There are many links for you to look at on these sites.
SPOTTER REPORTING TIPS
How to Report
Amateur radio network (if applicable) – Amateur Radio Condition
Code Green – Severe Thunderstorm Watch
Code Yellow – Severe Thunderstorm Warning or Tornado Watch
Code Red – Tornado Warning
in Ontario by email at email@example.com
Twitter with hashtag #onstorm
If you are CANWARN trained you should give the following information to the weather office in order to help them ground truth: Your name, CANWARN ID, contact number, – Where – you are located and the approximate location of what you are reporting, – Describe what you are witnessing/what you witnessed, the time of occurrence of the event and duration, its movement (where the phenomenon came from and where it is going).
In the spring/summer severe weather season, please report the following:
Hail (use coins to describe its size…dime, nickel, quarter, loonie for larger hail…golf ball etc.),
Heavy rain that has resulted in local flooding, Damaging winds (damage from tree branches down to more significant tree or structural damage), Large scale rotation in a thunderstorm such as: Wall Cloud – Funnel Cloud, Waterspout and Tornado, Dense fog – visibility less than 1 km
Note: if you are unsure of the rotation or presence of a wall cloud or funnel cloud…watch the area for a few minutes if it is safe to do so to verify the situation.
For the fall/winter, please report the following: Dense fog (visibility less than 1 km), Any occurrence of freezing rain or freezing drizzle, Heavily accumulating snow (2 or more cm/hr),
Whiteout conditions in snow/blowing snow (visibility near zero), Rapid freezing of water on road surfaces.
For SKYWARN spotters, you should report: Tornadoes or funnel clouds (be very wary of look-alikes; watch for rotation) waterspouts, Wall clouds, especially if they are rotating
Hail (Be specific with regard to size; however, YOU SHOULD NOT report MARBLE size)
Winds (40 mph or greater; specify whether they are estimated or recorded), large branches
downed (specify the diameter of the branch), Trees/power lines downed, Structural damage to buildings such as roof, windows, etc.
Rainfall (1 inch or greater in an hour) (NOT a 1″/hr. rate for 10 minutes), 2 inches or greater
storm total, Flooding — Streams/Rivers — also, when nearing bankful — Coastal — Street (Road Closures/Washouts, Cars Stuck due to flood waters. Minimum of 6″ of water covering an entire roadway or lane of a major route/highway).
For Winter Weather you should report: Precipitation type change (rain to sleet/freezing rain/snow, when the change has “taken hold”), Thunder when it is accompanied by snow, 1/4″ radial ice accretion (from twig outward; not circumference), New Snowfall from the First 2 inches; every 2-3 inches thereafter, 1 inch per hour or greater. If it is less than 2 inches total, give the final total only Give final total: no partial reports please) Report any snow/sleet/freezing rain if not in NWS forecast.
Please consult your local Amateur Radio club or CANWARN or SKYWARN group for their: email address, Twitter account or Facebook pages.
WHERE TO PURCHASE WEATHER RADIOS
Weather Radios can be purchased at various electronics stores that specialize in radios and other equipment such as:
BML Communications at http://www.bml.ca/,
CB World at http://www.werecb.com/,
Universal Radio at http://www.universal-radio.com/,
Durham Radio at http://www.durhamradio.com/,
Radio World at http://www.radioworld.ca/,
Burnaby Radio at http://www.burnabyradio.com/,
Ambient Weather at http://www.ambientweather.com/
Weather Radio Store at http://www.Weatherradiostore.com/, and many more retailers throughout North America.
When planning to purchase your first Weather Radio, it is highly recommended to look for the Public Alert identification logo.
WEATHER INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET
Suggested weather sites to visit as follows;
In Canada visit http://www.weather.gc.ca/
Want to get your weather in the US? Go to http://www.nws.noaa.gov/
Weatheradio Canada webpage at http://www.ec.gc.ca/weatheradio
NOAA Weather Radio webpage at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr.
The NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards Newsletter is published four times a year. There is some seasonal information to notify recipients of additional weather information available to them that they may not know about (most of which can be found on the NOAA Watch web site http://www.noaawatch.gov/ ). At this site you can also subscribe to various weather feeds. The rest of the newsletter remains relatively unchanged due to outreach requirements. The current newsletter is available at the NOAA Weather Radio website http://www.weather.gov/nwr/news.htm. At this time, there is no newsletter mailing list to subscribe. If you have additional questions, please feel free to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, here is the link to the answers website; http://findanswers.noaa.gov/noaa.answers/consumer/search.asp.
Yahoo Weatheradio Chatgroup, at http://tech.Groups.yahoo.com/group/weatheradio/,
NOAA and Weatheradio Canada Group on Facebook, https://m.facebook.com/groups/weatheradio/
WXtoIMG at http://www.wxtoim.com/downloads/
Digital Atmosphere at http://www.weathergraphics.com/da/
The Maritime Amateur (Ham Radio for Maritimers by Maritimers) http://www.maritimeamateur.ca
VoIP Hurricane Prep Net – Saturday 9pm Atlantic Time / http://www.voipwx.net/
Phil Chadwicks blog at philtheforecaster.blogspot.com
WEATHER or WEATHER RADIO APPS
This is a newly constructed list and it needs more results for future reference. If you have idea’s for weather or Weather Radio apps which should be put into future issues of the newsletter, send an email to the author at email@example.com. Right now these are iPhone apps only, because that is all we have at the moment. Your help is needed to expand this list farther.
CanWeather2 by High5
This app is simple but is full of features that you can unlock by purchasing others within the app.
Weather Alert Ontario 2 by Christopher Coudriet
This app sends you push notifications of watches and warnings only, with the SAME alert sound.
Weather Office Free by X2 Studios
This app provides weather and forecast information for both Canada and the US from Environment Canada and the National Weather Service respectively. In fact all apps mentioned here provide information from one or both sources. There is a version you pay for but to me, it is the same as the free version.
NOAA Weather Radio by Christopher Coudriet
This app allows you to listen to NOAA Weather Radio and receive alerts for your county in the US. It would be nice if it also provided the same feature for Weatheradio Canada and Canadians too.
The Weather Center by Midland Radio Corporation
This app provides access to Midland Radio via social media and also provides weather forecast information and much more.
Weather Nets On Ham Radio
The authors own Weather Radio Net meets on Monday evenings at 7:00 PM ET throughout the year on IRLP reflector 9038 and Echolink node VE3ZHR 591897. An additional list is below, from Daryl Stout WX1DER.
a) VoIP Skywarn Hurricane Prep Net — Meets at 8pm Eastern, 7pm Central, 6pm Mountain, 5pm Pacific Time, on the *WX_TALK* Echolink Conference Server…Echolink Node 7203, and IRLP Node 9219. During the off-season hurricane months from December through May, the net meets on the FIRST SATURDAY of the month ONLY. During the Atlantic Hurricane Season, from June through November, the net meets WEEKLY, at 8pm Eastern, 7pm Central, 6pm Mountain, and 5pm Pacific Time. Also, note that on the first Saturday of December, the net is ONE HOUR EARLIER…at 7pm Eastern, 6pm Central, 5pm Mountain, and 5pm Pacific Time. This is so at the conclusion of Skywarn Recognition Day, stations don’t have to wait for the net to occur. Further details are at http://www.voipwx.net
b) Southeast US D-Star Weather Net — Meets at 9pm Eastern, 8pm Central, 7pm Mountain, and 6pm Pacific, every Sunday night, on Reflector 2, Port A. The net also meets on the Southeast US D-Star Weather Net Ratflector on D-Rats. Further details are at http://www.dstarinfo.com/se-d-star-wx-net.aspx
Lastly, stations can get a list of selected D-Star Nets during the week by sending an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org — and again, a list of selected Echolink Nets is at http://www.wx1der.com/elk.htm
Daryl Stout, WX1DER, Net Control – VoIP Skywarn Hurricane Prep Net
Southeast US D-Star Weather Net – Certified Skywarn Severe Storm Spotter
The official Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter Twitter Account ;
There are many reliable manufacturers and retailers of Weather Radios sold in Canada and the USA. Below is a list of the recommended models currently for sale. Note: This list of suggested weather radios is strictly for informational purposes, and not as an endorsement of any specific model or manufacturer.
Midland Radio Corporation http://www.Midlandradio.com W-r300, W-r100B, W-R120, HH54VP, HH54VP2, ER102, Nautico 3 and W-R11 are all manufactured by Midland and sold in North America.
Oregon Scientific http://www2oregonscientific.com W-R601, W-R203 and W-R602 are currently sold in North America.
Uniden Corporation http://www.Uniden.com BC75XLT, BC95XLT, BC125AT, BC346XT, BCT15X, BCD996XT, Homepatrol, BC436HP, BC536HP and BCD396XT are currently sold in North America.
Sangean USA http://www.Sangean.com CL100, DT400, DT500, MMR88, PR-D4W and PRD9W are manufactured by Sangean and currently sold in North America.
Reecom Electronics Inc. http://www.reecominc.com R-1630, R-1650, R-200 and R-500 are manufactured by Reecom and currently sold in North America.
Kaito Electronics Inc http://www.kaitousa.com/. KA500, KA101 and KA600 are currently sold in North America.
Alert Works http://www.alert-works.com/ Alert Works desktop model EAR-10 is currently sold in North America.
If you have any comments or suggestions, or if you wish to submit an article, please email the author Gord at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Also, check out my blog at http://blindgordieblog.wordpress.com You can also contact me on Skype and his Skype name is “blindgordie”.
I would like to give special thanks to those who made contributions to this 17th issue as follows: Denis Paquette, Daryl Stout WX1DER, Bob Robichaud VE1MBR,Midland Radio Corporation, Dennis T. Paganin VA3DTP (our faithful web master and Co-Editor), Peter Staples, Malcolm Kendal VE3BGD, Jim Langille VE1JBL, Gregory Zwicker, Phil Chadwick, Geoff Coulson and Marc Fitkin for their help and contributions to the newsletter, among others.
Sincerely, Gord The Old Reliable.VA3WXA