Hello and welcome to the third issue of the newsletter for 2018. It is summer and I hope we are out and about having as much fun as we can, before the fall sets in. I will have some comments about things which have been happening on the Weatheradio Canada network and along with that, some things you may not know about the past and future voices.
We have a number of people who have retired or are retiring from Environment and Climate Change Canada, from when the last issue came out on May 1st. Etienne Gregoire is the current voice of the watchdog short cycle canned message and most WXR ID messages. I first heard him in August 1990 and he was also one of the main people replying to voice messages from listeners, who would call the number given in the broadcast. He of course, has also contributed to the newsletter and among his contributions is his report on Sandy in Issue 6.
Arnold Ashton also retired recently and was the lead meteorologist for ECCC before he left. He was also one of the voices who were on Weatheradio Canada, reading out the information on tape and I met him in 2008, when I first became CANWARN trained. He was impressed that I remembered a lot of the voices and names I heard back in the day.
Geoff Coulson has also contributed to the newsletter and managed the CANWARn operations in Ontario. I first talked to him in August 2006, when I reported that a 1050 Hz tone alert hadn’t gone out over the network. The reason was back then, if there were warningss or watches issued, the 1050 Hz tone wouldn’t sound for the monthly test on the first Wednesday of the month. Now that SAME is active with the RWT and RMT, there really isn’t a problem with alerts not sounding. Unless a glitch in the system has developed.
A lot of us know Geoff from his work with CANWARN and he has also been one of the voices on radio and TV, when severe weather is or has happened. Hopefully he may come out of retirement to continue work with CANWARN in Ontario. Actually, I have heard that it may be possible.
Finally, Denis Paquette will be missed the most. Without him and his support, this newsletter wouldn’t have even had a chance to be born. When he was the national manager for Weatheradio Canada, he was able to tell me a lot about how the system is controlled. He also is the reason why I file reports every week for both SAME and 1050 Hz tone tests since August 2012. Remember in the 4th issue? I had put it out there, that we needed help in reporting the weekly SAME test reports across Canada and a couple of you have responded and helped out when you were able.
I met him in July 2015 during the Pan’Am Games and we had lunch at a restaurant near Union Subway Station, which name escapes me. I think the word Fox was a part of the name but I do remember having a burger and fries, with a nice chocolate cake for dessert. That was also the first time I had heard the new english speaking voices for Weatheradio Canada, which had yet to be heard by others. We had this lunch in the works but it was just a matter of the timing and where we could go. I showed him how I do what I do and he was certainly impressed that I could navigate something with a touch screen. Here is a Youtube video with him reading out an ID for a WXR in Ontario. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSgWSE5TAPM
One thing about Denis and Arnold you may remember, if you have been on the mailing list from Issue 5 onward is that they both were guests on the Weather Radio net on ham radio. I may have further things to say about a possible return of the net but, I will leave that for later and by the time of the next issue, it may or may not be back. I will be posting on Facebook and tweeting something in the coming weeks.
I could say a lot more about those fine people I have mentioned but I don’t want to go on too long about them. I will say a big thank you to all of them, for any contributions they have made over the years to the development of the newsletter so far.
Unfortunately, we have a member of the email list who has passed on, in the past few weeks. Rick Michouicz is no longer with us and has died, aged 64. He is known to those of us in ham radio by his call signs VE3TYP and VE3US and would check into any net he could. He has also done a fine job as a net controller for various nets I have checked into, over my time as a ham. He was a part of the Mississauga Amateur Radio Club for a number of years and recently, moved to Sauble Beach and moved on to the Georgian Bay Amateur Radio Club.
He didn’t contribute anything to the newsletter but, the fact that he asked to join the mailing list is good enough for me. He was great with me, even though we probably haven’t met in person but, I’m glad to have chatted with him, when he was around. RIP and thanks for being a part of the history and, 73 de VA3WXA.
Anyway, I hope you all are staying warm and weather-safe. Your continued support for the newsletter is very important and I thank all of you for becoming a part of it, at some time during its history. 🙂
Since mid May until around June 18, a select few WXR’s have been chosen to participate in the survey, about the network and as you probably guess, I made my voice heard. So did Weatheradio Canada, in that they used 2 new voices to announce it, along with the email address and phone number, in order to do so. In my case, I heard the announcement as I had returned home from a CANWARn session in Oakville and even though I knew the voices and that they were coming, I was surprised to hear them. For the record, the voices which we heard were Tom for enlish and Chantal for french, announcing the Survey and giving out the email address and phone number, respectively.
The only things I had mentioned are that when a watch or warning is issued, there is only the mention of the watch or warning and it moves on, to the next thing. There is no explanation as to why the warning has been issued and where the severe weather is, in relation to the warned area’s and what to do in the event of said severe weather. The same is true for advisories and I agree, we can read the entire text of all three levels of severe weather notification on the website and various weather apps but, not everybody has access to the Internet who listens to Weatheradio Canada. I was that guy a few years ago and For my part, I’m generally happy with how things are but I know that most people aren’t, with what they hear on Weatheradio Canada. They’re obviously people who do not like French on the network where English is spoken on the daily basis and I understand that. It was made clear in the last issue, when I allowed a member of the group to air out their frustration with french on the network where he hears english every day. The only thing I asked was for them to hurry up and get the new voice is on the air as soon as possible. Also, hopefully they can get the Full text of: watches, warnings and advisories on the network in both languages with the upgrade. Also, having both SAME and the 1050 Hz tone inside the message, (as apposed to them being separate) would be good. This would be especially so for warnings of all types, to turn on all alert radios so everyone would be aware that they should prepare for any type of severe weather, no matter what time of year it is. It would also keep VHF marine radios with a basic alert tone active throughout the year and radios which react to both SAME and the tone alert (Separately or together), like scanners and some models of Sangean WX radios.
As for the voices, I will talk about them in the next article and to finish this one off, thanks to all of you who have replied to both myself and the team who had conducted The survey. Unfortunately, it resulted in having to dismiss one person from the group because they did not approach it from the standpoint of Weatheradio Canada and that is all I am going to say about that. However, I do not appreciate hearing people calling french on Weatheradio Canada disgusting. As a volunteer, I do what I can to help them out and the rest of us or on the mailing list are mostly volunteers as well and should live up to that, including comments on the service. I understand the frustration that some people feel about how it sounds but, calling another language disgusting is inappropriate and hopefully, the people who receive this do not use that as part of the strategy to improve Weatheradio Canada, by simply removing French from the network because of those negative comments. Canada is a bilingual country and ever since 2002, French has been on the network in the broadcast cycle, but has been on the network longer than that during station identification messages. In fact, when I first listened there was a phone number given out in French, probably directing those who want to make comments about the network to it. Either way, French is here to stay and should be here to stay because of our status as a multi lingual country, with English and French being our two main languages. I hope I have made myself clear. 🙂
It’s All About The Voice
Okay, I’ve touched on this topic multiple times in the past few issues but, since the first hint of the new voices coming has been given I will dig a bit deeper into their history with Weatheradio Canada, as well as the new ones coming. I will even talk a bit about NOAA Weather Radio and it’s own voices over the years, to compare how similar the changes have occurred on both networks over the years.
As has been said in earlier issues, both Weatheradio Canada and NWR had been using forecasters to record the weather information on tape and it went out over the networks that way. Some time in the 90’s Weatheradio Canada and NOAA Weather Radio both decided to switch from humans to computers. Since Computers could talk with the help of screen reading devices (marketed mostly toward the blind and visually impaired) why not? The problem was that in the case of NWR they first used a voice called Paul or Perfect Paul, who was far from perfect to many listeners ears and if I had known about it, I would have agreed but, what choices did they have? The idea behind having a computer read out the information to the listener is to free up time for the forecasters to concentrate on their job, which is to forecast both severe and non-severe weather. Plus, the NWR network was expanding so, there really was no choice but to use computerized voices. Thankfully, we had Tom and Donna, along with Javier, a spanish speaking voice who was on selected stations. Now NWR has Paul Jr, who has been around about as long as Tom and Donna and is available on most computers and scanner’s for the blind, in order for them to read printed material. There is also a new spanish speaking voice Violetta. She is probably used in the same locations as Javier, I’m guessing. As far as the NWR software goes, you can look up that history easily on the NWR website, in the links section of the newsletter. However, I do have one other thing to tell you about Paul Jr, Paul is a voice from Vocalware. Along with Julie and Kate, he is found on an OCR program called Krtzweil, founded and invented by Ray Krtzweil.
As a matter of interest, I was given a list of voices in 2011, which were thought to replace Tom, Donna and Javier. However, we obviously know which voices have replaced them, but I thought I would give you the list as I had it back then, from Gregery Zwicker.
Current NOAA Weather Radio voices:
• using Nuance Speechify
◦ Male (Tom)
◦ Female (Donna)
◦ Spanish Male (Javier)
Future NOAA Weather Radio voices:
• using AT&T Natural Voice
◦ Male (Mike)
◦ Female (Crystal)
◦ Spanish Male (Alberto)
◦ Spanish Female (Rosa)
In the case of Weatheradio Canada, it had a similar situation, when it came to the network expantion. However, the software used is an in-house product called AVIPADS or Automated Voice Integrated Production and Dissemination System. That was brought in during the latter half of the 90’s too and has been using StarCaster and it’s main voice Dr. Steve Eady, a linguist from Vancouver BC and a french voice who was an employee of Environment and Climate Change Canada and his name is Francois. Other voices were brought in, to read out the station ID messages from Weatheradio Canada’s inception to present day, with the exception of four years from 2003 to 2007, when the AVIPADS voices read out the ID messages. Human’s were brought back because of the frenchpronunciation of some letters of the alphabet such as X. For example: In callsigns such as XMJ 225. The humans have read out both ID and canned messages to this day, with the exception of the Survey, which was mentioned in the previous article.
This brings us to the new voices coming on board, hopefully some time this year. I for one am very excited about our new human sounding voice overlords and as a listener of Weatheradio Canada, I know them well. I will talk about them and where you can hear most of them. Before I do, I will get into where they came from originally, as much as I can dig deep into the history of these voices.
Ava, a voice used in vocalizer since 2013 was originally taken from what would appear to be the svox classic lineup of voices, namely a voice called Grace. Tom actually originated with speechify as a telecom voice as noteworthy by the voice heard on the weather radio for exactly 13 years.
The Two French voices didn’t appear to be very popular initially because they hadn’t been associated with vocalizer until 2013, when vocalizer, now owned by Nuance, changed pace with having bought out some of the other voice systems, namely loquendo. If you look at some of the voice names, Carlos, solidad, carman, Jorge, Diego, Fransiska, those voices, were part of the loquendo line up of voices. Now while the afformentioned are not related to weatheradio Canada, it’s surprising they are not using Susan. I will get more into that later on.
Tom is based on singer and guitarist Tom Glynn, who is from Boston and has released his own music and has had it in TV shows for example: Californication. He was the main voice for NWR up to 2016, along with Donna and I’ve mentioned them before in this article. He is, or was the voice of Kindle and apparently, is or was, a hard-core Kindle fan. https://www.engadget.com/amp/2009/03/03/the-engadget-interview-tom-glynn-the-voice-of-the-kindle-2/
You can also hear his voice (along with the other voices I will talk about here) on GPS systems in vehicles, along with other voices which are helpful in navigation.
Ava is a newer girl and she gets around as well. I have heard her predecessor, Grace and she was much more rigid and robotic sounding, with less of a personality. I don’t know who she is based on but, I like her. She is currently heard as a voice on the Continuous Marine Broadcasts on VHF frequencys in Canada, representing Canadian Coast Guard radio stations. If you’ve ever called telephone IVR systems, you may have heard her as well as tom giving you prompts or information. For example: if you live in Ontario and specifically, the GTHA and use Go Transit’s Interactive Voices Response phone system, Ava is now the voice you hear in english. She also can be heard on other related phone systems throughout Ontario too. You can recognize her as having a deeper voice but she still sounds friendly. Oh, if you have ridden on the Go Train lately, you can hear her there too, as she announces the stops. If you have also called Greyhound and their IVR phone system, you can hear her saying selected words, while a human says the rest of the preamble.
Unfortunately, I can’t talk about Chantal and Nicolas because they are french speaking voices and I haven’t heard them anywhere, except on Weatheradio Canada tests on Youtube and on my iPhone. Actually, Chantal is Ava’s french speaking counterpart on the Continuous Marine Broadcasts and I found that out recently, when someone had her trying to say words in english. I had no idea until someone phoned me to let me know about it and we listened together and sure enough, I heard it but decided not to report it. Besides, this would probably be fixed when the next round of forecasts were issued, as this mistake affected the short term marine forecasts.
Actually, all 4 voices I am talking about here, all are available for download on any current iPhone or iPad, in the accessibility settings, if you’re looking for speech. Unfortunately, Tom and Ava are bigger voice files but Chantal and Nicholas are relatively small. I am actually using Ava right now, to compose this article and well, why not?
This brings me to the differences between StarCaster and the new Nuance voices, which is what: Tom, Ava, Chantal and Nicolas are. With StarCaster, the words and phrases are straight words and phrases, without a bunch of chopping up and reforming meaningless words and phrases into something meaningful. Also, I’ve been told that each word or phrase costs money and that may explain why Weatheradio Canada sounds so basic these days.
In the case of Nuance, Voice actors are brought in to read words and phrases, which are unusually written. This is to create speech and manipulate it to the point of being synthesized. In fact, any voices you hear on computers, or smart phones, or tablets which sound human like today are in fact human beings who have recorded unusual combinations of words and phrases, which have been chopped up and the speech has been reformed into synthesized speech. A few issues ago, I provided a link to the video for Inside Nuance which talks about this process and shows an actress voicing herself, recording an unusual combination of words and phrases. Think about how Siri or Alexa speaks and consider that the voice actors or actresses called in to voice these products had to work from months, to get the right pitch and phrasing and just the right sound for the speech. So, a lot of thought went into who was chosen as the voices of these things which speak to us, and for us. Think about that while you’re riding in your car and your GPS tells you to turn left in 2 kilometers, or next time you ride public transit and the next stop is announced.
Earlier on, I had mentioned Ava and how she is the english speaking voice of the Continuous Marine Broadcasts and she has been for A few years now. Although, she hasn’t been on every single transmitter throughout Canada during this time. One complaint I heard again and again is that she sounds very muffled and unfortunately, that is partly because of the voice itself. It is quite Basey and Will probably need to be tweaked as far as equalizer goes. I don’t know how to do that but I’m sure that somebody can do the tweaking before she is rolled out across Canada on the network, with the other 3 voices. The problem with using a voice like Susan is that she would be the exact opposite, and that she would be high and tinny, with a lot of people complaining about her voice. That is what Ava will probably bring, if she isn’t tested before she is rolled out, with Tom and the 2 french voices.
In closing, here are some videos for you with two of the voices I have talked about here. One is with Steve Eady, demonstrating StarCaster Text To Speech and the other is an interview with Tom Glynn. As a bonus, I have also provided a link to a song by Tom, so you know what he sounds like when he sings and even his website. First of all, Steve Eady, who is everywhere, from: WXR Canada, ATIS, New York/Gander Volmet and Trenton Volmet if you listen to shortwave radio.
Now, here are the links to Tom Glynn.
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 as conclusively as possible, dates and times when outages have begun and ended. However, I will start putting in outages with unknown start and end times, as honourable mentions.
Wednesday June 13th, Toronto XMJ225 went into watchdog at 8:46 PM, after the severe weather watches and warnings had ended for the listening area. The FTP had jammed at 5.45 PM and had been restarted after 9:00 PM the same evening.
July 1 and 3 Watchdog Events
On Sunday July 1st at 1:12 AM EDT, all of Ontario had gone into watchdog mode, during a real flurry of severe thunderstorm watches and warnings for most of Ontario and a heat warning, throughout one of the longest heat waves in a number of years. It came back on July 2nd at around 9:00 PM, before the next outage. Ontario was not the only province bitten by the watchdog bug, as the Atlantic region had also gone into watchdog mode, at the same time. Fore example: Halifax XLK 473 had gone into watchdog at 2:12 AM ADT. It also had come back around the same time as Ontario on July 2nd.
Tuesday July 3rd saw a comparatively short outage this time, for only Ontario. It had gone into watchdog at 12:15 PM and came back around 12:52 PM.
Saturday July 7th, Toronto XMJ 225 had gone into watchdog mode at 9:14 PM and had been restored at around 10:30 PM, the same evening.
Tuesday July 17, Toronto XMJ 225 had gone into watchdog mode, for only 3 minutes, a day after a whole slew of severe thunderstorm watches and warnings were issued throughout Ontario, over a number of days.
Friday July 20th, all of Ontario went into watchdog at 5:15 PM and came back an hour later. apparently, gremlins got into the system again.
Monday July 23rd at 2:15 AM Toronto XMJ 225 went into watchdog mode all by itself and came back around 7:10 AM the same day.
Note: any outage which does not have a definitive start or end time will be mentioned here in future issues.
On June 11 it was reported that both WXR’s in Sudbury and little current had gone off the air since sometime on June 7. There is been no follow up on that ever since and it is not known if it is back on the air. Thanks to Allan Boyd for the report.
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.
CANWARN training in Ontario is done for this year and as I mentioned earlier, Geoff Coulson has retired after 30 plus years at ECCC. This year was my 10th year and I went to two sessions: May 5th at ECCC HQ and May 16th in Oakville. Thanks also to those who helped me get from home to the sessions and back home again.
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 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 toPurchase 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/,
Radiooorld 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.
Best Buy, which caters more to General consumer Electronics such as, Smart phones, tablets, MP3 players etc. However, they also Carrie some Weather Radios, in both Canada and the US. http://www.bestbuy.com/ also in Canada http://m.bestbuy.ca/defaultpage.aspx?lang=en and if you want results from a search on Weather Radios, https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/Search/SearchResults.aspx?query=Weather+radio
Or, the free iOS app Best Buy Canada by Best Buy Canada Ltd
If you want more information about the app, check The developer website for more information. http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/bestbuyapps.aspx
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 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.
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/ or just use Google to watch or listen to Youtube video or audio.
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
NOAA and Weatheradio Canada group on Facebook,
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 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 it.
CanWeather2 by High5
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.
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 audiobooks, 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 is also free, despite that it offers in app purchases.
Atmosphérique Pro – Canadian Weather from EC by Quadrant Newmedia Corp.
Radar Eh – Canada radar & alerts app using Environment Canada radar data by Zhao Han
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 Storrrm Spotter
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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, EH55VP, 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.
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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
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I would like to give special thanks to those who made contributions to this latest issue as follows:
Brandon Hennis K0USM, Daryl Stout WX1DER, Marc-Antoine Chabot, Bob Robichaud VE1MBR, Midland Radio Corporation, 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.