Weather Spotters


Weather spotter requirements

In the event of severe weather, if SKYWARN is activated and Clay & Platte Counties are threatened, the KC Northland ARES will also activate a weather net. When amateurs are aware of the imminent severe weather (via observation, NOAA weather radio, or local media) they are asked to monitor the primary ARES frequencies.

If you are asked to work at a spotting location, remember, SAFETY FIRST. Be sure that there is no danger to you; e.g. stay away from overhead power lines and trees, and be sure to park as far off the road as practical.

The net controller will ask for information needed by the weather service, and will relay this to SKYWARN/weather service or will delegate this responsibility to a liaison station. While relaying the information, he may ask net stations to stand by.

 

a Weather Net

Any member of the KC Northland ARES group that has been trained in weather spotting can open the weather net.  One member will activate a weather net and assume controller.  A member of the net will also assume a liaison role with the National Weather Service “Skywarn”.  Clay and Platte county sheriffs’ offices will be notified of activation and closer of the net.

Any member that participates is personnel responsible of their own safety.  The decision as to where a spotter goes or chooses to spot from is ultimately up to the spotter, however area’s were spotting coverage is needed or recommendation at to locations may be provided by the net control or other trained  spotters on the net.

 

 

Notifications

 

Clay County Emergency Management (816)407-3732

If Clay County EM doesn't answer call Sheriffs Dispatch (816)407-3700

Platte County Sheriffs Dispatch: (816) 858-3521

 

 

If you are asked to work at a spotting location, remember, SAFETY FIRST. Be sure that there is no danger to you;

stay away from overhead power lines and trees,

park as far off the road as practical

Make sure you have more than one way in and out of your spotting post

All laws and ordinances must be followed

 

The net controller will ask for information needed by the weather service, and will relay this to SKYWARN/weather service or will delegate this responsibility to a liaison station. While relaying the information, he may ask net stations to stand by.

Information relating to funnel clouds, tornados, wall clouds, cloud rotation, rain intensity, hail size, etc., will be requested. In addition, wind speed should be estimated as follows:

25 - 31 mph

Large branches moving. Whistling overhead wires.

32 - 38 mph

Whole trees moving. Inconvenience in walking against the wind.

39 - 46 mph

Small branches (twigs) break. Walking impeded.

47 - 54 mph

Slight structural damage. Larger branches and weak limbs break.

55 - 63 mph

Moderate structural and tree damage.

64+ mph

Heavy structural and tree damage.

If you are at any location other than a spotter post, take special care to tell the net controller sight distances and obstructions you may have. The net controller will not know exactly where you are, and have no way of knowing what your observing capacities might be. Be patient and give extra information if requested.

 

Net control should take check-ins to include current spotter location to nearest major intersection. If spotter is carrying a tracker, the SSID of the tracker should be indicated. Location information should be posted over APRS as an object (if spotter doesn't have a tracker) and updated as it changes (should be reported by spotter). This should aid in better moving resources into position and potentially out of harm's way. By positioning all spotters on APRS, everyone can stay aware of station positions without having to tie up the voice net which should be primarily reserved for weather reports.

 

The primary net controller should have APRS capabilities along with any secondary/backup net controllers and/or radar monitors. This will allow all operators to have the same current tactical information about units "in the field." It can also serve as a short messaging "back channel" between controllers to coordinate information without adding traffic to the voice net. Reports that need to be relayed to Sky Warn via liaison stations may also be passed via APRS.

 

 

Upon the completion of a weather event, a member must contact both Clay and Platte County Sheriff’s office and official and notify them that we are closing down.  Make sure that the net is recorded in the net control logs on the web as soon as possible, and send an email to dcarpenter1@outlook.com with a summary of the net and a log of the events reported.  This is to address any reports or request for clarification to the event.

 

 

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