Welcome everyone to the 20th issue of the Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter. In this issue, we have much the same exciting articles you have come to know throughout the last 19 issues of the newsletter. However, you will notice that I have followed through with what I had promised to eliminate some sections in this and future issues of the newsletter. Please read on and enjoy.
Hello, this is your friendly author welcoming you to the 20th issue of the Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter. It’s a new issue and a slimmer newsletter too. You will notice this if you have read and kept all past issues of the newsletter in your email archives or however you keep them, if you have room for them.
In the last issue I mentioned that the SAME 1050 HZ test reports will no longer appear in the newsletter. However, I will include links to the monthly reports I have posted in the blog, in a
mass blast, either with the new issue or as a standalone email. Also, the CANWARN and SKYWARN will still be here but in a much abbreviated form but will still include the annual message from Geoff Coulson and what to report. I will also allow for your articles on either CANWARN and SKYWARN sessions that were particularly memorable. For example: back in the 7th issue I had some CANWARN articles from Atlantic CANWARN on the winter storms that plagued Ontario Eastward in February 2013. Unfortunately, I had no contributions from Quebec at that time!
WEATHER RADIO NET
The Weather Radio Net on ham radio has unfortunately been put on hiatus for now. There were some issues with where to put an IRLP reflector back in June, when I had intended to restart the net again. I do have a plan for the net going forward and I will detail it in a mass blast to all of you, who are hams. Also, for those of you who are hams, I now have EchoLink on my IPhone. So, this will allow for me to do the net in more places besides being at home all the time.
Back to the net itself for a moment… I have an idea for the net to meet at 12:00 PM on Wednesdays to 1:00 PM. This is because the Weather Radio tests are on Wednesdays anyway and well, why not have the net meet right after it? The only potential problem for me is that on the first Wednesday of the month, the SAME test goes off right before noon and I also file my reports to Weatheradio Canada.
The other reason for my acquiring EchoLink is because of the new windows in my apartment, which have been put in during July. All units in our building have or are being renovated, with new windows and heating and cooling systems. Unfortunately, this may pose a problem for me as both a ham radio operator and as a Weather Radio listener because of the metal tinted windows which are now in most, if not all units. I shudder to think about how much interference the new heating and cooling system may cause to VHF and UHF radio waves. Unfortunately, probably 99.9 percent of the powers that be, who own all apartments aren’t interested in Weather Radio, let alone have a ham radio license. Therefore, they see this as only a way to make us comfortable and not necessarily happy. They don’t think for a second about if people have various hobbies like for example: ham radio. However, I digress.
As for myself, I am still a happy Admin of the NOAA Weather Radio and Weatheradio Canada Facebook Group. I am still continuing to bring stuff up and most of you are responding with likes and posts alike. I have done and will continue to do the same if I can.
Well, that’s about it for me and my comments for this issue. Enjoy the rest of the summer and let’s have as much fun as possible, before the cold weather sets in.
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 National Weatheradio Canada Team at email@example.com. 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 both the Facebook and the Yahoo group later in this issue and all issues of the newsletter. You can also email the author directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be passed on for you.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
I have received a few reports of watchdog events from Weatheradio Canada listeners in the past 3 months. Most of them are on the NOAA Weather Radio and Weatheradio Canada Facebook Group. I unfortunately can’t include their reports because of a lack of a time-stamp, as to when the alarm went off with an outage. If you have read my reports including the ones I have here, you will notice a more or less definitive time as to when things went pear shaped. I will explain the same thing on the Facebook group and elsewhere on the web and hopefully this will result in more reports here in the future.
On Wednesday June 15th the entire network in Ontario went into watchdog mode at 5:45 PM and didn’t return to normal until around 8:00 AM the next morning. This was after a few hours of no RWT (Required Weekly Tests) on most WXR’s. This was after a few hours of no new data.
FROM THE NOAA WEATHER RADIO AND WEATHER RADIO CANADA FACEBOOK GROUP
Mark J. Szymanski July 3 at 3:11am
As of 20:23 CDT July 2, Winnipeg is broadcasting “technical difficulties” message: ZCZC-WXR-NMN+000030-1850227-MSC/CWWG
This also happened late Thursday June 30th as well:
On Saturday July 16th all of Ontario was plunged into watchdog mode at around 10:15 AM. It wasn’t restored until 11:28 AM The same day.
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.
The CANWARN training sessions will no longer be inserted in the newsletter, due to them not always being up to date. They are now in the blog and will be shown there. However, the reporting tips will still be here, for both CANWARN and SKYWARN.
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
Condition Codes: 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 branchesdown 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:
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 the current websites URL is
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.
DX Info Centre at http://www.dxinfocentre.com/, to hear what Weather Radio sounds like
before buying your first receiver, visit YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/,
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/
NWS Taunton Amateur Radio SKYWARN Station home page at http://www.wx1box.org
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 RADIO AND WEATHER RADIO APPS
This is a newly constructed list and it needs more results for future reference. If you have ideas 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
https://appsto.re/ca/M0aK6.i 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 Studioshttps://appsto.re/ca/–gXw.i
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 Radio by WDT by Weather Decision Technologies, Inc.
This app gives you NWS alerts and also pushes lightning alerts to your IPhone, when lightning is possibly detected in your local area or, in area’s you have selected.
Weather Nets on Ham Radio 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
MANUFACTURERS OF WEATHER RADIO
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.
We also encourage you to visit http://www.qrz.com/db/va3wxa and you can also follow him on Twitter @WxrNewsletter @BlindGordie or @VA3WXA. Also, check out his blog at http://blindgordieblog.wordpress.com
You can also contact me on Skype and the Skype name is blindgordie.
I would like to give special thanks to those who made contributions to this 20th issue as follows: Daryl Stout WX1DER, Marc-Antoine Chabot, Bob Robichaud VE1MBR, Midland Radio Corporation, Dennis T. Paganin VA3DTP (our faithful web master and Co-Editor), 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