The WX5FWD SKYWARN™ team are volunteer radio operator liaisons for the Fort Worth National Weather Service (NWS) North Texas SKYWARN™ Spotters. During SKYWARN events, you are reporting information to our team and the NWS warning forecasters. Three goals of a storm spotter are to safely observe, identify and report conditions.

Weather spotters provide what's called "ground truth" to the National Weather Service and emergency weather management. Spotters are needed because, while radar is very good at helping the National Weather Service see what's going on in the upper atmosphere, it's unable to detect what's actually happening on the ground because of the curvature of the Earth. Knowing the "ground truth" about a weather event from the location can be the deciding factor to issue a warning.

Cloud Chart

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During HAMCOM a few people asked about a color cloud brochure handout for spotters. The printed version of this brochure may be cost prohibitive as a general hand out. However, I found the PDF versions online at the following web site locations. The JetStream - An Online School for Weather provides details associated with the cloud chart.

CWA Local SKYWARN Frequencies Map

We have created a Google county warning area (CWA) map view that displays local spotter frequency information for counties when the county is clicked. A companion CWA Frequencies page lists the frequencies as a table. Click on the frequencies to open a new browser window containing Repeater Book details about the repeater frequency.

CWA Local SKYWARN Frequencies

We have created a Google county warning area (CWA) map view that displays local spotter frequency information for counties when the county is clicked. A companion CWA Frequencies page lists the frequencies as a table. Click on the frequencies to open a new browser window containing Repeater Book details about the repeater frequency.

A few operational thoughts for SKYWARN spotters regarding the WX5FWD Radio Desk

Radio propagation physics and limited resources prevent the NWS radio desk from DIRECT access on many repeaters in the North Texas county warning area (CWA). With the CWA covering 46 counties, the radio desk has direct coverage for the nearest 8 to 12 county spotter repeaters from the Fort Worth office. Despite direct radio coverage limitations, the NWS is capable of receiving spotter reports from all 46 counties.

NWS Special Event 2016 SKYWARN® Recognition Day

NWS Special EventNWS Special Event

2016 SKYWARN® Recognition Day

Fort Worth NWS CWA The annual SKYWARN® Recognition Day event is from Friday evening, December 2nd 18:00 (6PM) CST until Saturday December 3rd 18:00 (6PM) CST. Or in UTC time December 3, 2016, from 00:00 to 24:00 UTC.

SKYWARN Recognition Day was developed in 1999 by the National Weather Service (NWS) and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). It celebrates the contributions that volunteer SKYWARN radio operators make to the National Weather Service. During the event, SKYWARN radio operators visit NWS offices and contact other radio operators across the world. This event is also aimed at strengthening the bond between Amateur Radio operators and local NWS offices.

National information regarding SKYWARN Recognition Day is published at hamradio.noaa.gov and the ARRL. A list of participating NWS offices is on the NWS SKYWARN Recognition Day web page. The national event organizer is Matt Mehle from the Monterrey CA NWS forecast office. Matt and the Monterrey staff do an outstanding job for this event! David McAnally (WD5M), with support from the WX5FWD Radio Desk Team, is the local coordinator for the Fort Worth NWS WFO.

As in previous years, North Texas spotters are encouraged to participate in SKYWARN Recognition Day, and log radio contacts with NWS offices and SKYWARN spotter groups.

SKYWARN volunteers may visit the Fort Worth Weather Forecast Office on Saturday December 3. Lunch will be provided. Visitors must RSVP before Friday, December 2 via wx5fwd.org/RSVP, or send email to SRD@wx5fwd.org. Please RSVP including your name, email address, call sign (not required), and county. More details will be provided to attendees via email. Please RSVP if you plan to visit.

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