WEATHER_RADIO_LISTENERS_NEWSLETTER_ISSUE_22_FEBRUARY_11_2017Welcome to the 22nd 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 21 issues of the newsletter. Please read on and enjoy.
RADIO NEWS – AM / FM / VHF
Hello again and welcome to a new year and a new issue. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and healthy 2017. I know that things will look different in the US now and it will have an effect on Canada too. However, we will survive this and hopefully, NOAA Weather Radio also survives.
This brings me to the discontinuation in Norway, of both FM and AM radio to make room for digital radio or high definition radio. I hope it is a long time before we here in North America lose them both. After all, both Weatheradio Canada and NOAA Weather Radio are on VHF FM and if that was to go, would this service provided to us, by the US and the Canadian governments survive? If so, where would it go? Would it be on the internet? I’m only asking because if this was to happen, this has to be considered before hand and hopefully, they are.
As for the Weather Radio net on VHF/UHF amateur radio, I have decided to put it to bed. Unfortunately, my current living conditions don’t allow me to reach as far as I could with what portable equipment I have. Also, logging the net is an issue which I will have to figure out. I haven’t had much time to pursue a reactivation of it because of things going on in my apartment building. It’s rather hard to concentrate on something, when you are having to move things around, in order to accommodate workmen and also, there is the noise factor to be considered. The net wasn’t meant to meet during the day but trying to concentrate on composing an email or something, while all manner of drilling and hammering could be going on is rather difficult.
I’m sorry that I had to put the net on the back burner but the time isn’t right for me right now, to do it. However, I won’t rule out bringing it back someday, when things are more stable where I live. Hopefully by the summer this can be but for now, it has been put on hold until further notice.
On the other hand, the newsletter is still going strong and will continue to march on, for the foreseeable future. However, it is still difficult in my current circumstances to do this but, I can work around it easier because of the length of time between issues. I can also put together an issue within a few days but I don’t choose to do that. I use the last few days of the past month before the next issue comes out, to fine-tune and organise it as best I can for you. Then I email the draft newsletteroff to my co-editor Dennis – VA3DTP and he does all the rest.
As for watchdog, there have been some watchdog events but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a timestamp on when they began or ended. So, there are only a very few that I have managed to give you in this issue and as for the ones that occurred but couldn’t report on, the all happened before and shortly after Christmas.
On a more positive note, I managed to purchase the new Midland EH55VP during the first week of January and I love it. I will write an article on it in the next issue and I might even talk a bit about the new WR-400 Weather Radio, if I get the chance to purchase it before the May issue. I’ve heard some interesting things about it and I can’t wait to find out how different it is from the previous WR-300.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading the rest of this issue. Once again, many thanks to everyone who has contributed to the newsletter so far and hopefully many more years and issues to come.
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 will only include items with a definitive time stamp on them, from start to finish. That is in affect the whole point of this report, to give conclusive dates and times when outages have begun and ended.
On Sunday November 27th Toronto XMJ225 has gone into watchdog mode, at 12:16 AM and it came back, at 12:46 AM the same day.
On Friday, December 2, Toronto X MJ 225 went into watchdog mode at around 6:15 PM. It came back on around 9:02 AM on Monday morning December 5, after a weekend of numerous Facebook posts about it being in watchdog mode.
On Wednesday December 14th at around 8:00 AM, St Catharines VAD320 had gone into watchdog mode and returned around 8:55 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 all 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.
GEFF COULSON – ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE CANADA
Hello everyone, Geoff Coulson here again from Environment and Climate Change Canada. I’m a warning preparedness meteorologist based out of Toronto and I also manage the CANWARN storm spotter program in the province of Ontario. CANWARN members are volunteers from all walks of life. Amateur radio operators comprise the core of the CANWARN program with other volunteers coming from all levels of government, emergency managers/responders and those with a passion for the weather.
CANWARN volunteers watch the skies year-round for telltale signs of severe storms and relay significant information, in real-time, to the Storm Prediction Centre in Toronto. In the winter- time this can include reports of significant snowfall amounts, poor visibilities in fog or blowing snow and occurrences of freezing rain. In the spring and summer months, reports can be sent in on the appearance of funnel clouds or tornadoes or the occurrence of large hail, damaging winds or flooding rains. There are now over 6000 CANWARN volunteers in the province of Ontario and many of these volunteers have attended a training session in the last few years.
CANWARN training sessions are held across the province in the April to June timeframe. This year’s training will have special significance as we mark the 30th anniversary of the program which began in the Windsor area in 1987. Training sessions are held during evenings and on weekends with the sessions lasting between 2 and 2.5 hours. There is no cost to attend a training session. The spring training schedule is normally released in early April. Many of you reading this newsletter that live in Ontario may already be a CANWARN member and, if so, I thank you for your participation. For those of you who aren’t a member but are interested in learning more about the program or who would like to be placed on the training notification distribution list, feel free to contact me at email@example.com Regards, Geoff
SKYWARN TRAINING SCHEDULES
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter with hashtag #onstorm or in Atlantic Canada #atlstorm.
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 (RoadClosures/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 RADIO’S
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/, 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 AVAILABLE 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.
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 email@example.com, 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 Chadwick’s blog at philtheforecaster.blogspot.com
WEATHER 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 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 nearly 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. However, contrary to the name of the app it does not stream Weather Radio broadcasts for either Canada or the US.
TuneIn Radio – Stream Live Radio by TuneIn
This popular app allows you to listen to conventional, Internet and even some Weather Radio stations when and where available. You can even listen to podcasts of your favourite radio shows if you like and maybe even audio books, To help you pass the time in the monotony of a commute or while waiting in the waiting room for an appointment.
Météo – Canadian Weather by North Bits Solutions Ltd.
This is another app designed for Canadians and is available in both English and French. It is similar to the Degrees Pro app and some of the others on this list. It does offer an in app purchase, allowing you to be a patron but this is completely voluntary. Patronage does not open up anything else besides what is available in the app. All it really does is help the person who operates the app with covering the cost for servers, updating The app and just keeping the app going.
Atmosphérique Pro – Canadian Weather from EC by Quadrant Newmedia Corp.
Radar Eh – Canada radar & alerts app using Environment Canada radar data by Zhao Han
WeatherEh – using Environment Canada weather data to show Canada weather forecast & radar by Zhao Han
This app is similar to an earlier app in this list but, it also provides updates to: weather statements, watches, warnings and also alert you when they have ended. The author would recommend anybody who is CANWARN Trained and has an iPhone, to purchase this app so they can be kept up-to-date accurately in real time, with severe weather alerts via push notifications.
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.netb)
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 email@example.com — and again, a list of selected Echolink Nets is at
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 WR-300, W-r100B, WR-120, HH54VP, HH54VP2, ER102, Er300, ER310, EH55VP, Nautico 3, WR-11 and WR-400 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 firstname.lastname@example.org OR at email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 my 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
Gord pictured above in his red jacket at a amateur radio hamfest.