WEATHER RADIO LISTENERS NEWSLETTER ISSUE # 7 MAY 20, 2013
Welcome to the seventh issue of the Weather Newsletter. In this issue, we have some interesting updates on the newsletter net and in the newsletter itself. We have some excellent information on Weather Radios and Marine Communications, CANWARN, more interesting introductions to our members, Weather Radio reviews, helpful hints and much more. Please read on and enjoy. END
Gord Maybee VA3WXA
This is your friendly author and I would like to welcome you to the 7th issue of the Weather Newsletter, which contains (30) pages of what I hope will be interesting information for you. As you may have noticed, the name has been shortened. This is because the newsletter not only covers Weather Radio but it also covers both CANWARN and SKYWARN and other related topics. The name of the net that accompanies the newsletter has also had to change and it is now called The Weather Net. The reason for this change is because of a rather precipitous drop in checkins that took place for the February 23rd net. The net has normally had an average of around 20 checkins each week but for this particular week net the check in count was 8. This was the second worst turn out for the net and most people showed up after I had officially closed it. Despite the name changes I have decided to keep the header for the PDF and DOC files of future newsletter issues under the old name for historical reasons and also because some people still refer to it under the old name. I am hoping the name change will make the point that this newsletter and the net are mainly about Weather Radio but it is not the only topic discussed. This is your newsletter and you are more than welcome to make any comments or contribute to it. If you have anything just send me an email and it will probably go in the newsletter somewhere, sometime. I don’t like throwing anything away unless it is completely useless.
For the last few weeks I have experimented with holding a warm-up net at 6:30 PM EDT, for those who are time sensitive and it has gone reasonably well. I have decided to scrap it because the count has been rather inconsistent. However, the net will move forward half an hour in June, for the next few months, to allow us to link up at 0000 UTC to the VOIPWX Hurricane Prep Net and to also have a long net. It will be meeting at 6:30 PM EDT and it still meets on IRLP reflector 9038. We will hopefully have a guest speaker or two in the next few months. It has been pretty dry lately, with only checkins.
If you are a ham and you are reading this please check in and let me know you are out there. Please help me keep this net and the newsletter both alive and interesting. Thanks all.
David Phillips, Senior Climatologist for Environment Canada
Hello. I read with great interest your latest WeatherRadio Listeners Newsletter. WOW! What a network of weather keeners and a great service you provide linking weather radio interests. I learned a great deal about the program and look forward to perusing future issues. One suggestion is to do a feature on Randy Mawson, the father of CANWARN, who has retired in March. He is a passionate weather guy who has contributed greatly to the service of meteorology in Canada.
Weather volunteerism is dear to my heart. That there are more weather volunteers in Canada than paid employees in the weather service is a remarkable fact and a credit to those who turn their fascination with weather into life-preserving services to all Canadians. Everything I’ve done in producing weather calendars, publishing books and speaking publicly is done to recognize the tireless and invaluable services weather volunteers like you provide to Canada and Canadians. They are my Canadian heroes.
Warmest regards and continued success with the Newsletter.
Introducing Durham Radio
Celebrating 20 Years in Business – Durham Radio was founded back in 1993 and is one of the oldest stores of its type in the entire country! Celebrate with us by subscribing to our Flash Deals and get in on special deals on the 20th of every month for the rest of the year!
For more information on the store, please click on their link http://www.durhamradio.com/ or in the links section of the newsletter and sign up for their newsletter and Flash Deals.
Questions and Answers
The following are some of the questions submitted to the author over the past few months from people on the mailing list. Some of these have been answered on the Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter Net on October 6th 2012, when Peter Staples was a guest speaker. He also provides the answers here as well. If you have a question about Weatheradio in Canada or the U.S. send an email to the author and it may appear in a future issue of the newsletter. We will revisit the questions in further issues of this newsletter.
Question: How did Weatheradio Canada start and how did it evolve from what it was to today?
It began during the latter sixties and early seventies in the United States. People along the border were listening in so we decided to open up a similar network in Canada. In 1977 the first station was launched in Vancouver. It spread to major cities in Canada quickly. In 1979 the first province-wide network was operational in Nova Scotia. It expanded greatly during 1980 to the 1990’s before a Program Review was conducted.
In the early days, each weather radio was manually loaded by staff of the weather office in a studio using 8 track tapes with a direct line to one transmitter site. During the Program Review, weather offices were eliminated, and AVIPaDS was developed to streamline the process. In 2005-2006 Weatheradio Canada introduced SAME message ability.
Question: What is the software used to generate the information that is heard on the network and how does it work?
AVIPaDS (Automated Voice Interactive Processing and Distribution System) The text from forecasts, observations, watches and warnings, etc are parsed and converted into audio files by combining pre-recorded words and phrases in a voice database. These are then transferred by ftp or dial-up to Weatheradio/ATAD sites. The phrases are updated by two people for French and English Observation data is also converted into Inuit for far northern sites. However, there is a limited database of words and phrases.
Question: What are the various VHF and UHF links for? Are they permanent?
The main sites are broadcast in VHF frequencies which allow for SAME and 1050 Hz watch/warning alerts. Because of certain location limitations (telephone access, etc), some systems had their signal broadcasted via UHF link from a main XMU location to another VHF transmitter site (i.e. Windsor – Victoria Park to McGregor, Thunder Bay – AMOS to Mount Baldy). This will likely change if communications at the transmitter site become available. Some sites repeat via VHF to another repeater site (i.e. Pembroke to Renfrew) but we are planning on splitting these sites.
Question: Since 2002 Weatheradio Canada has become bilingual. Is it possible to separate the French and English into different frequencies?
The short answer is yes, they can be separated. However, this involves an almost doubling of the expenses as separate transmitter equipment is needed for separate language cycles. We would very much like to do this however; we are limited by budgetary allowances.
Question: Why do we have to hear French on the Weatheradio network in predominantly English-speaking regions such as Southern Ontario? 90% of the population here is English speaking; the other 10% of French speaking people speak both English and French! Even in Northern Ontario where there is a greater population of French speaking people, most speak and understand both.
The answer is that it is an official Bilingual issue. We must treat both official languages equally. So they both have to be on the transmission.
So What’s New ?
First Tornado of the 2013 Season in Ontario At approximately 5:45 PM EDT on Thursday, April 18, a strong line of thunderstorms moved through the Shelburne area to the northwest of Toronto. Based on a damage survey by Environment Canada personnel, one of these thunderstorms produced a brief Enhanced Fujita (EF) 1 tornado approximately 6 kilometres to the northwest of Shelburne. An EF-1 tornado has peak winds between 135 and 175 kilometres per hour. The key damage noted at this scene was a barn with its roof and two walls removed with some pieces of the barn firmly embedded into the ground at a distance of 50 to 100 metres from the original location. The total length of the damage path was 500 metres with a width of 75 metres. Investigations are continuing in this area that may result in the length and width of the damage track changing or of the possibility of other tornadoes.
This is the first tornado of the season, not only in Ontario but in all of Canada. The summer severe weather season normally begins in late April and ends in early October. Ontario sees an average of 12 tornadoes each year. This tornado also represents the first tornado in Canada to be rated using the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale as opposed to the original Fujita scale. The National Weather Service adopted the EF scale in 2007 and Environment Canada has monitored its use since that time and has decided to also adopt this scale beginning this year. The types of damage produced by tornadoes on either the Enhanced Fujita scale or the original Fujita scale are similar. However, the wind speeds of the various categories have been adjusted based on the best available knowledge concerning the winds required to damage structures, vehicles and trees.
The Normandale transmitter VFI621 has been off the air since before Christmas. However, it is now back as of March 25th. The power supply was replaced and the signal is like it was before it went off the air.
As of Tuesday April 2nd Weatheradio Canada has made some updates to the AVIPAD’s software. This has resulted in the hourly reports timestamp being given incorrectly for Ontario listeners. Peter Staples, Megan Gillespie, Mike Campbell, Fred Voglmaier and Françoix Gagnon explain.
An update to the system April 2nd caused errors in the AVIPaDS hourly reports. The time of the reports was the Alaskan time version and was not corrected properly for local time. There was a patch in place that blanks the actual time of the observations. It was in place until Tuesday April 9th when it was fixed.
We were affected by a somewhat related issue in PYR (Pacific and Yukon Region) with that update. In our case the current conditions were still updating, but the time of the observation was not updating so it appeared as if there were no new updates. This issue was resolved shortly after the problem was identified.
It seems that the problem came from a Perl script parameter (localization) that was not correctly setup in the new AVIPaDS release. We had a few problems with how the program handled midnight and noon, but the time stamp problem never hit Atlantic Region, Quebec, the Prairies and Arctic. I guess we had all the required elements in place….for once. :):) The guys who send these updates are top notch professionals so they are likely scratching their heads trying to figure out how this all happened.
Françoix Gagnon, Fred Voglmaier, Mike Campbell, Megan Gillespie and Peter Staples Dissemination – Quebec, Pacific and Yukon, Atlantic, Prairies and Arctic and Ontario Region’s respectively.
Sunday April 21st the Toronto transmitter has gone off the air and it has returned at around 3:45 PM Tuesday April 23rd. The UPS and its batteries were the problem. They need replacement so for now, they have been by-passed.
Peter Staples – Dissemination – Ontario Region | Diffusion – Région de l’Ontario
From Marc Fitkin
Hey all. As you know, or are about to find out, we are in the process of opening a new optics retail experience and we are pleased to announce the official launch date and address information of New Eyes Old Skies. Our launch date is estimated to be on or around April 30th 2013. Our location will be: The Leslie Centre Unit A7-1390 Major Mackenzie Drive East Richmond Hill, ON L4S 0A1
You can follow us on Facebook at
http://www.facebook.com/NewEyesOldSkies?fref=ts#!/NewEyesOldSkies On Twitter
https://twitter.com/NEWEYESOLDSKIE and our formal website still being developed:
New from Uniden – BC75XLT 300 Channel Hand Held Scanner
Uniden BC75XLT 300 Channel Hand Held Scanner allows you to monitor police and fire departments (including rescue and paramedics), NOAA weather transmissions, business/industrial radio, utilities, marine and amateur (ham radio) bands, and air band transmissions, all in one hand held radio!
The Priority Scan function scans the channels you have designated as priority channels. The Delay function helps prevent missed replies during 2-way conversations. There are ten service banks with preset frequencies for: weather, police, fire/emergency, marine, racing, civil aircraft, amateur radio, railroad, CB and other (FRS/GMRS/MURS). Other features include keypad entry, earphone jack, key lock, battery low alert, battery save.
The backlit LCD display makes for easy night time operation. Operation is from two AA cells providing flexibility in choice of batteries: Alkaline for long life or rechargeable NiMH batteries for economy. It is important that you select the correct battery type via the slide switch in the battery compartment. NiMH type batteries can charge while in the scanner.
The following are its features:
300 Channels in 10 banks, VHF Low/High, UHF, Civilian Air Band, Narrowband Steps, Close
Call RF Capture: Instantly tunes to signals from nearby transmitters, Close Call Do Not Disturb
Mode: Prevents Close Call checks during a transmission, Service Search, Priority Search with
Do Not Disturb mode, Backlit LCD (Orange), PC Programmable: Free software download,
Compact Size, Charges From PC via USB Cable, Headset Jack: 3.5mm Uses 2 AA Alkaline or
NiMH Rechargeable Batteries (Not Included), 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.
Box Contents: Scanner, Antenna, Belt Clip, USB Cable, Wrist Strap, User Manual. This could possibly replace the BC95XLT, due to the similarities between the two receivers.
Kaito the new KA101 Weather Radio
The Kaito KA101 EZ-Weather One Touch NOAA Weather Radio provides instant access to 24/7 weather broadcasts brought to you by NOAA the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. Designed with the most advanced modern technology and skillfully constructed with the finest components, the KA101 offers two different tuning methods, one is “auto”, which automatically scans, picks out and locks onto the strongest weather channel available when pressed, you may also choose to manually cycle through all 7 pre-set frequencies by pressing the “scan” button repeatedly.
Pre-programmed 7-channel NOAA digital weather radio
Instant one touch access to 24/7 local weather info
7-section 18″ swivel telescopic antenna for crystal-clear reception
Stylish design and water-resistant construction
Powered by 3 AA batteries (not included) or 5V/DC
1 year limited manufacturer’s warranty
Channel 1: 162.400 MHz
Channel 2: 162.425 MHz
Channel 3: 162.450 MHz
Channel 4: 162.475 MHz
Channel 5: 162.500 MHz
Channel 6: 162.525 MHz
Channel 7: 162.550 MHz
Noise limit sensitivity: FM < 5uV
Signal selection: > 40 dB
Maximum output power: 100 mW
Maximum current consumption: 120 mA
Box Contents: KA101 weather radio, User Manual and Warranty registration card
Authors note: Despite this radio marketed as being only for NOAA Weather Radio you can also listen to Weatheradio Canada if you live in Canada. Every Weather Radio or radio with the weather channels mention NOAA Weather Radio in their manuals and Spec Sheets but don’t forget, both NOAA Weather Radio and Weatheradio Canada are on the same 7 frequencies listed above.
Greetings all CANWARN Members. CANWARN Atlantic has a Twitter page. Just a notice to let you know I have now put the Twitter feed for CANWARN Atlantic on its own page on The Maritime Amateur website. The page has up-to-date information about weather, power outages, road conditions, provincial EMO notices etc. Of course tweets from CANWARN members will also be put on there. To find the page go to the CANWARN dropdown menu and click on “follow us on twitter “.
Thanks, James (Jim) Langille VE1JBL
Manufacturers / Retailers Net Spotlight
In this issue, we will throw the scientific spotlight on Oregon Scientific Corporation. They have been around since 1989 and they manufacture a number of useful products. The list includes: Weather Radios, Weather Stations, MP3 players, Digital Camera’s, thermometers and other products.
They have won awards for their weather related products and they have also had to deal with a recall of one of their Public Alert Weather Radios back in 2007. This was discussed in an earlier issue!
If you would like to find out more, see the link to their website at the end of this issue and all other issues of the newsletter.
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 email@example.com, 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.
On Tuesday February 5th at around 10:30 AM, there was a problem with the warnings on the Toronto WXR going off repeatedly without any new data.
There was a patch to the AVIPaDS software (nothing major or really helpful) and the forecasters had to send out the forecasts and such early. Unfortunately, when the patch was activated, all the old data was left over and it went through…again and again.
Peter Staples – Dissemination – Ontario Region | Diffusion – Région de l’Ontario He mentioned that it shouldn’t go off again unless the watches and warnings spread. There were snow squall watches and warnings in affect for the Toronto area and parts of Eastern Ontario at the time.
On Monday March 3rd at around 9:20 AM the St Catharines, Ontario transmitter VAD320 started going off with a warning SAME message for a few minutes. Despite that there were no warnings issued at that time. It would start and after the canned message was finished it would not go to the EOM beep beep beep tones but restart the SAME message. Obviously there were gremlins in the system. However they weren’t named: Gizmo, Stripe or after any of the monsters in the movie. There also wasn’t any sun light involved in killing them; just a few keyboard strokes.
On Friday April 12th at around 6:20 AM the Kitchener transmitter XMJ330 had gone into watchdog mode. It has returned on Monday April 15th at around 3:00 PM.
Tuesday April 23rd at 7:23 PM, the Toronto transmitter XMJ225 has gone into Watchdog mode. This has happened just after it was restored from being off the air for almost 2 days.
Apparently the system died again after about an hour working (after the tech had gone home). So it will be looked at again. The backup UPS is faulty and it needs to be replaced, and only when that’s done will the site be stable again. Here’s hoping. Its given highest priority.
Peter Staples – Dissemination – Ontario Region | Diffusion – Région de l’Ontario
It has returned at 10:53 AM Wednesday April 24th.
Weather Radio Personal Reviews
In this issue going forward, anyone if interested may submit an article to rate a particular Weather Alert Radio you have purchased and used. If you want to contribute your own review of any Weather Radio Receiver you own, just email the author and it will appear in a future issue. We will accept anything weather it’s a marine radio, scanner, crank radio, or just a standalone Weather Radio. However, we won’t allow any reviews on your amateur radio transceiver because not everyone receiving this newsletter is a licensed ham at this time, but most people that go out on the lake during the warmer months may have a marine radio on their boat or in their possession and may also have their Restricted Operators Certificate (Maritime), in order to legally transmit on the VHF marine band.
Weather Radio Reviews
Disclaimer: The following are reviews of various Weather Alert Radios that are strictly those of the people writing them and not necessarily of the author unless noted.
Review of the Midland HH54VP Handheld Public Alert Weather Radio
Note: this review is written by the author.
This model has been mentioned in previous issues and it has been discussed in detail. So, let’s review. First, we’ll go into the menu. If you own a W-R100 Weather Radio from Midland this will be familiar to you. The radio has a clock, an alarm clock function, the ability to program 1 or multiple SAME county codes into it, the option to control the alert type, whether it is tone, voice or display. There is an option to test the alert in order to hear what it sounds like and an option to set the backlight.
This unit also has a feature that allows you to let the radio automatically change the channel on its own. This feature is referred to as the “HOME/TRAVEL” feature. To turn it on, press and hold the Home/Travel button until you hear it beep and the radio is now in travel mode. It will search for the strongest signal and if you press it will search again, whether you are on a strong signal or not. To get back to Home mode, press and hold the Home/Travel button until it beeps. If you choose to use the alarm clock it goes off for 1 minute and if you press the Weather/Snooze button, it will go into Snooze mode and the alarm will sound in 9 minutes. To stop the alarm for the rest of the day, press the Select button.
My experience with this radio is that it is a great unit and easy to work with. It is a great companion and possible life saver when I am going out of town. The odd thing about it is that when you remove the AC plug from the wall the radio resets back to 12:00 AM. In order to avoid this I unplug the jack first and then take the plug out of the wall. If you are particular on the clock being in real time, setting the hour brings it back to 0. In order to set the clocks ahead or back one hour during the spring and fall time change, set the clock back or forward on the hour then on the half hour. This will not change the hourly movement of the clock from its step so you can re-sink the clock up with other clocks in your house.
There is a trick I learned to reset the radio back to factory default from a YouTube video. Unplug the radio and make sure there is no power going to it. With 2 fingers, hold the Volume up and the Weather/Snooze button in at the same time then plug the radio back in. It should go back to the default settings of 12:00 AM, the alarm off and set for 6:00 AM, SAME set to ANY counties, alert type set to TONE and the weather channel set to Channel 4.
If you would like to get a better idea of what you will see and hear, while using this unit, or for more on how to navigate the menu layout, these videos should help.
Weekly / Monthly / Same / 1050 Tone Alert 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 February 6th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 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 TOME) 12:00 PM local.
Wednesday February 13th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:55 AM local.
Wednesday February 20th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:55 AM local.
Wednesday February 27th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:55 AM local.
Wednesday March 6th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM, (RMT) 11:57 AM, (1050 Hz. tone) 11:59 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:55 AM, (RMT) 12:01 PM, (1050 Hz. tone) 12:00 PM local.
Wednesday March 13th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:55 AM local.
Wednesday March 20th, North Bay (XLJ893 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:53 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:56 AM local.
Wednesday March 27th, Normandale (VFI621 162.450 MHz) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:55 AM local.Wednesday April 3rd, 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) 11:55 AM, (RMT) 12:01 PM, (1050 Hz. tone alert) 12:00 PM local.
Wednesday April 10th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Kitchener (XMJ330 162.550 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:55 AM local.
Wednesday April 17th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Kitchener (XMJ330 162.550 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:55 AM local.
Wednesday April 24th, St Catharines (VAD320 162.475 MHz.) (RWT) 11:52 AM local, Kitchener (XMJ330 162.550 MHz.) (RWT) 11:53 AM local, Toronto (XMJ225 162.400 MHz.) (RWT) 11:55 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. There is some SKYWARN information from meteorologists in this issue and 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.
On February 8th to 10th Central, Eastern Canada and New England were given a beating by Mother Nature’s wrath by a winter storm. The following is a report from various people who have written various articles compiled from websites and some new material that hasn’t been seen before.
On Wednesday February 6th a special weather statement was issued for Southern Ontario and it mentioned the possibility of a major winter storm in the next couple of days. It consisted of an Alberta clipper and a low pressure system from Texas coming together.
At 5:30 PM on Wednesday February 6th a winter storm watch was issued for a large swath of Southern Ontario and the next morning around 5:00 AM it was upgraded to a winter storm warning.
On Friday morning Geoff Coulson spent parts of the morning on CFRB 1010 in Toronto to update the listeners on the snow fall and the storm track. The author even had quite a time walking through the snow because of its depth.
This was a major and memorable winter storm that dumped a 20 to 40 Cm blanket of snow across most of Southern and Eastern Ontario. There were a few reports of 40 centimetres or more, with the largest total amount of 44 Cm on top of the Niagara Escarpment in the south end of St. Catharines.
This storm was responsible for hazardous travel, snow days from School Boards, as well as multiple closures and flight cancellations and even causing Greyhound to cancel their Toronto to New York City scheduled bus service. The author even experienced it first hand, when going from Toronto to Barrie; it took 3.5 hours, when it only takes 1.5 normally to get there and another 2 hours or so to get back to Toronto.
An intense low pressure system approached from the southwest Friday night and passed south of Nova Scotia late Saturday. Snow ahead of this system developed late Friday evening and continued during the day Saturday and Saturday night. Strong north-easterly winds developed by Saturday morning and persisted Saturday and Saturday night resulting in extensive blowing snow mainly over Southern New Brunswick where the heavier snow occurred.
In Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island the same system caused strong north-easterly winds to develop by Saturday morning and persist into Sunday morning, resulting in blizzard conditions for most of both provinces. In Nova Scotia snowfall amounts were generally from 20 to 30 Cm, with higher amounts in Northern Nova Scotia and the Cobequid Hills, where amounts in excess of 50 Cm were reported. Winds were highest in Southwestern Nova Scotia, with the largest being 164 km/hr of Yarmouth in Woods Harbour. Storms surge and high wave activity caused flooding especially along the Southwest Shore from Liverpool to Shelburne County. Halifax recorded a high water level of 2.76 M, within the top FIVE ever recorded there. In Prince Edward Island wind gusts were generally around the 83 Km/h mark.
AN intense low pressure system originating off the U.S .Eastern Seaboard tracked southeast of Newfoundland on Sunday night. This system brought heavy snow, strong north-easterly winds and blowing snow to most of Newfoundland throughout the weekend. Over Eastern Newfoundland the snow gave way to freezing precipitation and eventually showers before changing back to snow.
After several days of warnings, a major winter storm moved into the Maritimes on Friday evening Feb. 8th, 2013. After causing major problems in Ontario, Quebec and the eastern parts of the United States it was our turn. Messages from Bob Robichaud VE1MBR at the Atlantic Storm Prediction Centre in Dartmouth were being sent out to all CANWARN members via email to prepare them in case of activation. Information was also being posted on the Maritime Amateur website. On Friday morning the call came in to activate CANWARN in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island on Saturday Feb.9th 2013 beginning at 8am Atlantic Time. A message went out to all CANWARN members and a notice was put on the MA website to let everyone know of the net and the information Environment Canada would be looking for.
At 8am Saturday Morning, Net Control began operations by linking up 13 repeaters throughout Nova Scotia and PEI through the MAVCOM system, IRLP reflector 9014, Echolink node 190339 and HF operations on 80 meters 3.770MHz. A preamble for CANWARN was read with information to all amateurs in Nova Scotia and PEI of when the net would begin, areas affected, information needed and modes being used for the net. CANWARN spotters were asked to record snowfall amounts each hour, visibility, wind speed, direction and storm surge. Notes would also be kept for any changeover from snow to freezing rain, ice pellets, rain, flooding and any other damage reports. Members were told which repeater the net would be based on (VE1BHS 145.350- Sugarloaf) and the codes to link up to send in their reports. After a short question & answer session, the repeaters were dropped and net operations began. Reports would be recorded till the bottom of each hour and then sent to Dartmouth for processing. Net Control would then reset and prepare for the next hour. A spreadsheet developed by NC Mike Johnson VE1MWJ was used to record information coming in from CANWARN spotters which would then be sent in to Environment Canada each hour.
Starting at 11am damage reports starting coming in of trees down, roofs being blown off, flooding in coastal areas and roads being breached. Power outages were reported all over the province. Over the next 12 hours Net Control recorded close to 200 messages. As darkness approached we were told by Environment Canada that we could close the net for the evening after the high tide at 10pm in case of any reports of storm surge. The net activated again Sunday morning for only one hour to record any damage reports. At that time the net was terminated.
It was a very active and interesting net and I would like to thank all the spotters who took part giving their hourly reports, without them, this net would not have taken place. I would also like to thank the NCO’s (Net Control Operators) who volunteered 14 hours of their day recording information to send to Environment Canada including Mike Johnson VE1MWJ who also recorded the messages coming in and sending them off to Dartmouth, Brad Ross VE1ZX from Leamington NS for HF operations and Emil Pineau VE1ESP Net Control for Echolink. Also thanks to Bob Robichaud VE1MBR and Environment Canada for trusting us with running the net and sending them timely reports. More information about CANWARN Atlantic can be found on The Maritime Amateur website at http://www.maritimeamateur.ca/ once on the homepage click on CANWARN Atlantic. To become a member of CANWARN, contact Bob Robichaud VE1MBR at firstname.lastname@example.org
As a member you will get on the e-mail list and be sent information about approaching storms and CANWARN operations.
73’s ! Jim Langille VE1JBL – NCO CANWARN Atlantic
Warning Preparedness Meteorologist – Environment Canada – Bob Robichaud VE1MBR
As Warning Preparedness Meteorologist from Environment Canada I would like to thank all amateurs who participated in the CANWARN activation for the recent blizzard on Saturday February 9th 2012 and again on Sunday the 10th. Preparations began earlier in the week as it became clear that a significant storm was going to impact the eastern U.S. and Atlantic Canada over the weekend. On Friday the 8th a decision was made to activate CANWARN on Saturday February 9th and in fact a SKYWARN net was also activated in the U.S. as well late Friday into Saturday. The storm started to affect the southern part of Nova Scotia late Friday night before spreading to most of the Maritimes by Saturday. Reports from CANWARN spotters began coming in at 8 am Saturday morning and were immediately passed along to meteorologists at the Atlantic Storm Prediction Centre in Dartmouth. The reports of snowfall, wind, storm surge and other damage kept coming in throughout the day and into the evening as well. Once again the reports were valuable in helping to establish a good sense of what was happening with the storm. Some impressive snowfall totals and wind gusts were reported by amateurs across the Maritimes with some places getting over 50 cm and the highest wind gust of 164 km/h was also reported by an amateur radio operator. A special thanks to Jim Langille (VE1JBL), Mike Johnson (VE1MWJ), Brad Ross (VE1ZX), Emil Pineau (VE1ESP) and also Alf (VE1AAZ), Paul (VE1MPM), Bob (VE1BFX) and Scott (VE1CHL) for net control duties. And again thanks to the spotters who provided the reports. I noticed that many of the reports were mentioned in our storm summary bulletins and were picked up by the media. Some of you may have even seen your reports on the supper hour news shows. Once again thank you for a job well done and as always we will be using what we’ve learned during this storm to make things better for future events.
Bob Robichaud (VE1MBR) – Warning Preparedness Meteorologist Environment Canada
New England Walloped By Heavy Snow and Significant Damage in Blizzard of 2013
SKYWARN across New England was active for a blizzard that pounded the region with very heavy snowfall, blizzard conditions, winds to hurricane force, and significant tree and power line damage and power outages over Southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island on Friday February 9th extending into Saturday February 10th 2013. Operations at WX1BOX, the
Amateur Radio Station at the National Weather Service in Taunton Massachusetts, were active for 28 continuous hours of operations.
“Our hopes to escape the 2012-2013 winter with nothing more than routine winter storms ended when this blizzard came to New England starting Friday February 9th lasting through Saturday February 10th” said Rob Macedo-KD1CY, ARES SKYWARN Coordinator for NWS Taunton Massachusetts and Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator. “Eastern Massachusetts ARES was placed on stand-by on Friday February 9th and that standby continues as we have ARES Amateurs remaining active on Cape Cod providing communications support for active shelters and for the Barnstable County (Cape Cod) Mutual Aid Coordination Center (MACC).” Macedo said. WX1BOX Amateur Radio SKYWARN operations handled several hundred snowfall reports, wind and wet snow damage reports and coastal flood reports. These reports were sent to multiple agencies to include the National Weather Service in Taunton, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and Red Cross, other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) as well as the media. This provided critical situational awareness and disaster intelligence information to all of these entities. Snowfall totals of around 12-32” were recorded across Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut with lesser amounts on Nantucket Island. Boston Logan Airport recorded its 5th highest snowfall ever with this blizzard. Moderate to major coastal flooding was reported with the most significant coastal flood damage to roads and even shore structures recorded in Hull, Scituate, Sandwich, Gloucester and Salisbury Massachusetts. Damaging to hurricane force wind gusts coupled with wet snow caused over 410,000 to be without power largely in Southeast Massachusetts with over 170,000 without power in Rhode Island. “The Amateur Radio mission in our region has really evolved into providing information on damage, power outages, and meteorological surface observations in situations such as this blizzard. It isn’t just about “when all else fails” anymore.” Macedo said. The New England Reflector system on Echolink *NEW-ENG* node: 9123, IRLP 9123 was active and at one time had over 65 connections from stations within the affected area of the blizzard. The VoIP Hurricane Net system on *WX_TALK* node: 7203/IRLP 9219 system was utilized as a listen-only system for those Amateurs that wanted to listen in on some of the blizzard operations. Many local VHF and UHF repeaters were active with roll-call SKYWARN Nets setup at 2 or 3 hour intervals on over a dozen repeaters in Southern New England. In Connecticut, the Hartford-Tolland County SKYWARN Net alone had 8 nets and 181 total check-ins across those 8 nets including nets run during the overnight period per a report from Hartford-Tolland County Connecticut SKYWARN Coordinator, Roger Jeanfaivre-K1PAi. Connecticut State SKYWARN Coordinator, Steve Williams-K1SJW, commended and thanked all of Connecticut’s SKYWARN spotters and coordinators for the fantastic job everyone did reporting weather information and storm damage during the blizzard. Connecticut ARES Section Emergency Coordinator, Wayne Gronlound- N1CLV and Connecticut ARRL Section Manager, Betsey Doane-K1EIC echoed these comments The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Region 1, WC1MAA Amateur Radio Station, and Region 2, WC1MAB Amateur Radio Station were staffed with Amateur Radio Operators involved with RACES, (the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services). Having Amateur Radio Operators in place to do these roles at served agencies helped to provide auxiliary communications. When power outages became so severe that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, Massachusetts had lost power, a roll-call is initiated on the state’s VHF network. The Region Two office did not hear the roll-call over the state’s VHF network and was notified by the ARES sub-regional command center at the Acushnet Emergency Operations Center in Acushnet, Massachusetts, WA1EMA, that the roll call was taking place and notified Pilgrim that they would assist in making sure Region 2 contact was made.
“Amateur Radio remains the ultimate back-up and has a significant place in providing situational awareness information for various served agencies” said Ed Caron-KA1RSY, District Emergency Coordinator for Southeast Massachusetts and Acushnet Emergency Management Communications Officer. John Miller-N1UMJ was operating at WC1MAB to handle this traffic. Cape Cod ARES remains active and has put in over 72 hours of continuous operation during and after the blizzard. They provided SKYWARN Amateur Radio reports of coastal flooding, snowfall reports, wet snow and wind damage and from around their area. In Hyannis, George Correiro-W1GLC recorded a wind gust to 84 MPH and in Marstons Mills section of Barnstable, Massachusetts, Cape Cod ARES District Emergency Coordinator, and Frank O’Laughlin-WQ1O measured a 75 MPH gust. Wind gusts to hurricane force also occurred on Nantucket Island. Cape Cod ARES has been staffing multiple shelters and multiple Emergency Operations Centers within their region and have staffed the Barnstable County Mutual Aid Coordination Center (MACC) since Friday with operations still ongoing. “Cape Cod ARES has been active with rotating shifts to staff the shelters and the MACC. I’m very proud of all my people who have put in very long hours” said Frank O’Laughlin-WQ1O, Cape Cod ARES District Emergency Coordinator. Assistant District Emergency Coordinator, Dan Howard-K1DYO, spent most of the 3-day period at the MACC. Eastern Massachusetts ARES remains on stand-by to support Cape Cod ARES as required until their operations wind down.
This storm had a far reaching affect throughout North America and the United Kingdom. For more information, go to http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_2013_nor%27easter#section_5
Recommended Boat Cruises
If you are looking for a nice day in Orillia Ontario and a real nice boat cruise to boot, check out the Island Princess. For more information on the cruise go to the following website. http://www.obcruise.com Their lunch cruises are highly recommended by the author.
Canadian Amateur Radio Video by Donald Boucher, VE2XT
Here is a link to a Canadian produced video on amateur radio. It’s the work of Donald Boucher, VE2XT and is definitely worth a look. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K40HpIjDLRs
It’s very well done and provides a quick look at today’s version of amateur radio in Canada. There’s a bit in there on emergency operations and on CANWARN. For more on this video, here is Calvin VE2KCA. We have recently released this High Definition Video that was filmed, produced, and edited by members of Canwarn Quebec on YouTube. We have had over 10,000 viewings, and was even announced on Bob Heil’s recent Internet show “Ham Nation”. We have had many positive reviews on YouTube so far.
CANWARN – Quebec Net The CANWARN Quebec Net’s shall be starting up very soon for the upcoming season.
(Those of you who know Steve Parsons, VE3SMP, might want to keep your eyes open around the 10:07 mark.) FYI – For more on the DVD, check out http://www.maritimeamateur.ca/ Rick VA3NV, SEC – Section Emergency Coordinator for GTA and Calvin VE2KCA, Quebec CANWARN
Introducing Art VE3UZE and his introduction to CANWARN
Good day. My name is Art and my ham radio call sign is VE3UZE. I remember talking to Gord when he was at the Bus Terminal here in Orillia in June of 2011. He had just come off the Island Princess Boat Cruise and he must have enjoyed it. Perhaps some further information about me is required so that all who read about me have a better understanding of my background.
My introduction to Canwarn came in 1994 when my wife and I were on our boat at Marina Del Rey near Orillia and I was listening to the marine weather forecast for our area, which is something we always do before heading out on a cruise. Since we were licensed Hams in 1992, we have always had a full mobile Ham Radio on the boat for that added extra insurance that in time of need, we had two ways of calling for help. On that hot summer day in 1994 at the marina, I was listening to the marine weather forecast and Dot was listening to the Orillia Ham Radio Station 147,210, when a call came out over that frequency from Scott Keddie, who was the Canwarn coordinator in the weather office on Dufferin Street asking if there was anyone on line that was near Crate’s Yacht Basin on McFee Bay? Dot advised me of the call and I picked up the mike on the Ham radio and responded to Scott, saying that I am a Ham radio operator on a boat in Marina Del Rey next door to Crates and asked if I could help? Scott told me not to put myself in harm’s way, but a tornado had hit some of the buildings at Crate’s Yacht Basin and friends and relatives were calling into the weather office asking if anyone was injured. He asked me to go over to Crate’s to see what the situation was and report back to him, I went over to Crate’s by car and was there very shortly after they were hit, so there were no emergency people, no fire department, no police, just a few dozen people walking around in a daze. I went to the building that was severely hit and observed that it was a row of about 25 covered slips and the roof had been lifted off the building and carried about 100 feet and dropped down again on the marina office and a row of open slips. I went to every boat that was under the now removed roof and determined if everyone was ok, no injuries, or some injuries and established the names of all the people involved and their boat names. I then went back to my marina and as I left Crates the first of a number of volunteer fire fighters were arriving on the scene. I gave my comprehensive report to Scott Keddie over the Ham Radio and he then asked me to put my report in writing and told me where to send it. It was a five page report documenting my time of arrival and departure from Crate’s marina, the number of boats damaged and the extent of the damage, the number of people injured slightly and otherwise, their names the name of the boat they were on and the slip number of each boat together with a report on the fact that it was only one building in the complex that was damaged. About three weeks later, Scott Keddie called me on the phone and complimented me on the report and suggested that I was the kind of person he was looking for to work with him at the Weather Office on Dufferin Street and asked if I would be interested in being a Ham Radio co-ordinator in the Weather Office? I advised Scott that I lived in the Beach District which at best is an hour’s drive from the Weather Office and also advised him that I was a traveling salesman and covered over a 1000 miles every other week away from the Toronto area. He said we will give you a pager that will cover the entire province of Ontario and if you are paged all you have to do is advise us one way or the other if you can be in the Weather Office within an hour’s time. I worked that job for about seven years and only once was I out of the Toronto area when paged. That was my inductance to Canwarn with little or no training, but that followed in succeeding years.
In speaking about Canwarn these days, I have kind of lost interest in it, for at the last seminar I attended last year, they were more interested in the general public with photo taking cell phones than they were Ham Radio operators with 17 years of first hand Canwarn experience. Scott is no longer involved, for the Weather Office have their way of doing this job and while Scott took it to the heights Canwarn enjoyed during the 1990’s and 2000’s era, to me it will never be the same. The Orillia Amateur Radio Club is a Club of some 30 members and back when Canwarn was pure amateur radio every member attended the Canwarn training sessions, but now that the public with cell phones with photography capability are involved, our attendance at Canwarn sessions has dropped off dramatically, to the point that last year when it was held at the Rama Community Centre, there was but a handful of our members there. Dot and I attended, Ron JPS, Rick OXX and that was the sum total from Orillia.
As for my Marine Radio involvement, I have owned a 40 year old, 27 foot Danish built Express Cruiser for now 36 years of its existence and have kept it in the same marina near Orillia for all of that time. Both my wife or YL, XYL took the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron boat operator’s course and passed it in 1977, with Dot nicknamed “Sparks” as she holds a Canadian Marine Radio Operator’s license. When we decided to try out boating in 1976, it was with the understanding that we each had duties in and around the boat, so that there was always two people to run the boat and Dot was the official Marine Radio Operator. That boat today is in first class condition and today looks like it just came off the showroom floor 40 years ago. It is the other lady in my life and the name on its stern is “Shady Lady” This proved a life saver years down the road of boating. We are not sitting in the marina boaters, for over those 36 years we have put 2400 hours on the boat that translates in power boating language the equivalent to 50 miles of driving a car for every hour of running a power boat. The only lakes of the Great Lakes we have not traveled in is Lake Michigan and Lake Superior and we have done the Trent- Severn from lock #1 in Trenton to lock #45 in Port Severn at least 8 times. We have cruised the Rideau Canal twice in opposite directions first in 1984 when it was their 175 Anniversary and in later years and that system starts in Kingston with lock #1 in Kingston Mills and goes to Ottawa and includes the 8 step locks in Ottawa to get to the Ottawa River. We have been through both the St. Lawrence Seaway from Montreal to Lake Ontario and the Welland Canal portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway where there are eight locks to transverse to Lake Erie.
Last year, we decided to take a brush-up Canadian Power and Sail Squadron refresher course with the Orillia Power and Sail Squadron and while doing this, I decided to write my Marine Radio Operators Course, so that I too could operate the Marine Radios on board. We are both in our early eighty’s and an extra radio hand can always come in useful. While taking this course I learned that there is a new type of Marine Radio on the market that is light years ahead of anything else out there and it is called a DSC radio.
If you have ever listened to the old style of Marine radio when a boater in distress is talking to the Coast Guard, you will have heard transmissions such as the following; Coast Guard Sir, what does your boat look like? Distressed boater it is cream with green trim, is about 30 feet long. Coast Guard. Sir, what style of boat should we be looking for? Distressed boater it is a cabin cruiser like all other boats Coast Guard. Sir, where are you on Georgian Bay? Distressed boater somewhere north of Parry Sound. Coast Guard. Sir, are you in the open lake or in the small boat channel that hugs the shoreline? Distress boater. In the small boat channel. Coast Guard. Sir, Can you remember the markings any buoy you last passed? Distressed boater. I think it was red but did not know it had a marking on it. If the boat has serious problems and is in danger of sinking, the Coast Guard has their hands tied and it is useless to send out a search and rescue boat. The new DSC radios have a built-in GPS and if and when you pass the very tough exam, you register your radio and a full description of your boat with the Canadian Coast Guard and become a licensed DSC radio operator. When in distress only, you lift the red shield over a red button and push for two seconds and your distress signal is sent to every Canadian Coast Guard Station in the area and the radio automatically switches to Channel #16 (the call channel) and within seconds you are in contact with a Canadian Coast Guard station and they have your co-ordinates and a full description of your boat. This service can also be used should a boater come across another boat in distress and one further step is taken to insure that the Coast Guard understands it is a relayed Distress signal. Our local Power Squadron has recognized a good teacher when they meet one and now I have been asked to teach the DSC radio course.
On yet another matter, when you listened to the marine weather forecasts did you pickup on the Mayfair code that breaks down a lake such as Georgian Bay into groups of time periods and assigns a number for each segment? When we are boating from May 1st to Thanksgiving weekend, I always check the Mayfair code before I even pull the boat out of the slip. In fact, I am working on every boat owner in the marina to do the same, so that they do not meet and unexpected fowl weather during their trips. It is far more exact than any other weather report for marine purposes.
When given, it breaks down a lake of a 24 hour day into periods of hours, with wind speed, direction, wind strength, resulting seas etc so that if you are on that lake you know what to expect before you start out. The modern boater these days forgets that there is not a tow truck sitting at every corner of the lake, when they get into weather related troubles. Because there are commercial fishermen on the Great Lakes year round the Mayfair code is given hourly, 12 months of the year.
Now you know a little more about me as a trained CANWARN spotter and a Marine Radio operator. Note: the rest of this bio will appear in the next issue.
CANWARN in Manitoba
CANWARN began in southern Manitoba in July 1998 with spotters in 17 communities. CANWARN has grown to over 140 spotters in over 40 communities across southern Manitoba. The CANWARN Summer Severe Weather Season in Manitoba runs from the middle of May (one week before Victoria Day) to the middle of September (one week after Labour Day). Winnipeg ARES members who have had Spotter Training and CANWARN Net Control Training volunteer as CANWARN Net Controllers and are on-call daily 0930-2130h daily through the Summer Severe Weather Season (17 weeks) to provide coverage for VE4WWO at the Prairie and Arctic Storm Prediction Centre (PASPC). VE4WWO is composed of two 2m transceivers (TM-261 and FT-1500) connected to Omni and directional antennas and an IC-718 for HF work connected to a wire dipole. It is located right in the PASPC Weather Centre.
39 Amateur Operators attended the CANWARN Spotter Training Saturday 23 MAR at Union Station in Winnipeg. The meteorological teaching was done by Warning Preparedness Meteorologist Natalie Hasell VE4NAT, while discussion of Net Protocols was presented by Acting SEC/Capital Region DEC Jeff Dovyak VE4MBQ. The other attendees were: VA4s AJG, CQD & MAC, VE4s CK, CY, MMG, DJS, BOZ, RHW, PN, SE, SIG, CDM, GWN, YYL, HK, LDI, RIC, DRK, GKS, TTH, ADS, APJ, PH, PEH, WAL, ALW, BRD, DLA, GMT, MWH, FDM, EDE, GWB, MHZ, GLS, BRR and Shannon Bestland (Operational Meteorologist).
Special thanks to Winnipeg ARES PIO Jim Sutton VE4SIG for preparing a number of laminated Wallet Cards containing toll-free reporting number and key reporting elements. Jim also circulated a Media Release prior to the training session. We picked up 15 new Spotters, 6 from outside Winnipeg. Weather Radio has been discussed a great deal previously, it was mentioned this year. 73 !
Jeff Dovyak VE4MBQ, Emergency Coordinator, Winnipeg ARES, Capital Region DEC and A/Section Emergency Coordinator, Manitoba ARES
CANWARN In Saskatchewan
There were CANWARN training sessions in Regina on May 4th at 10:30 and in Saskatoon for May 11th at 10:00. The Regina address is 1205 Ross Avenue. It is in the Regina Fire Department Training Hall. Enter through the north door and proceed upstairs. The Saskatoon address is the Fire Training centre at 22 and Avenue W, just behind the McDonalds. There are more to come.
John Cragg Warning Preparedness Meteorologist from Environment Canada and James Cloney, VE5CNB RAC CEC Saskatoon ARES EC
CANWARN in Ontario
Folks, thanks to all of you who have replied to the email@example.com account with the session you plan to attend. If you plan on attending a session but haven’t yet RSVP, please feel free to do so in the coming days. The response so far indicates that we will again have a strong turnout this year. Thanks again for being a part of this worthwhile program. May 4 – 9 AM – Toronto – Environment Canada Headquarters – 4905 Dufferin St,May 8 – 7 PM – Toronto – Environment Canada Headquarters – 4905 Dufferin St, May 14 – 7 PM – Peterborough – Public Library – 345 Aylmer St. North, May 15 – 7 PM – Dufferin County – Centre Dufferin Recreational Complex – 200 Fiddlepark Lane – Shelburne, May 25 – 9 AM – Sudbury – Lionel E. Lalonde Centre, 239 Montee Principale, Azilda. May 25 – 10 AM – Belleville – Belleville Library 3rd Floor Conference Room – 254 Pinnacle St, May 26 – 1 PM – Espanola – Pinewood Inn, 378 Centre St. May 26 – 7 PM – Elliot Lake – Renaissance Centre (tentative), 20 Veterans Way, May 27 – 7 PM – Sault Ste. Marie – Delta Sault Ste. Marie, 208 St. Mary’s Drive, May 29 – 7 PM – Timmins – Holiday Inn, 30 Algonquin Blvd West. May 31 – 6:30 PM – North Bay – OPP Communications Centre – 877 Gormanville Road, June 5 – 6:30 PM – Renfrew – Best Western – 760 Gibbons Road.
Regards, Geoff Coulson, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist – Environment Canada
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
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) as follows:
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! END
Results of the weekly Weather Net
Saturday February 2nd there were 14 check-ins, Saturday February 9th there were 21 check-ins , Saturday February 16th there were 17 check-ins , Saturday February 23rd there were 8 check-ins , Saturday March 2nd there were 13 check-ins , (this net was controlled by Robert VE3GXM), Saturday March 9th there were 23 check-ins , Saturday March 16th there were 26 check-ins , Saturday March 23rd there were 30 check-ins , Saturday March 30th there were 18 check-ins , Saturday April 6th there were 23 check-ins, Saturday April 13th there were 16 check-ins, Saturday April 20th there were 14 check-ins , Saturday April 27th there were 16 check-ins.
If you would like more information or to be a net controller in the future, please email Gord VA3WXA at the email address at the end of the newsletter. END
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/,
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. END
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.
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/,
WXtoIMG at http://www.wxtoim.com/downloads/,
Digital Atmosphere at http://www.weathergraphics.com/da/
WebEx at http://www.freewebs.com/ve1jbl/canwarn.htm
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/
See Phil Chadwicks blog at philtheforecaster.blogspot.com END
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, and BCD396XT are currently sold in North America.
Sangean USA http://www.Sangean.com CL100, DT400, and PRD9W are manufactured by Sangean and currently sold in North America.
Reecom Electronics Inc http://www.reecominc.com R-1630 and R-1650 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. END
New Email Address for Gord VA3WXA
Hi folks. I now have a second email address that I will use for my newsletter and things that relate to it. However, I will still receive weather alerts in my other email account.
The new address for those that are on my mailing list will be, email@example.com. I will be sending everything out as usual through this new address and this will be the one I announce on the air. However, if you are used to using my current email address that’s okay. It will be for everything else in my life, including ARES. END
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. We also encourage you to visit our website located at http://www.qrz.com/db/va3wxa.
I would like to give special thanks to those who made contributions to this seventh issue as follows: Donald Boucher, Jeff Dovyak, David Phillips, Bob Robichaud, , Denis Paquette, Peter Staples, Dennis T. Paganin (our web master and co-editor), Dan Pearce, Ezio Visentin, Art Moseley, Malcolm Kendal, Joey Shynn, Gregory Zwicker, Calvin Carew, Rick Harison, Phil Chadwick, Megan Gillespie, John Cragg, James Cloney, Geoff Coulson, Françoix Gagnon, Rob Macedo, Fred Voglmaier, Weather Radio Store and Marc Fitkin for their help and contributions.
Sincerely, Gord The Old Reliable – Gord VA3WXA