Each year, before severe weather season begins, a coordination meeting is held at the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, OH. For 1999, today was the day. The purpose of this meeting is to coordinate spotter activities (primarily amateur radio activities) for the 52 county area served by the Wilmington office.
No major changes are planned for this year. There are a few highlights that will probably interest you as severe weather season approaches.
1. This is a reminder that late last year the Indiana counties of Union and Fayette were shifted to the Dayton reporting area. In other words, amateur radio operators in these counties should attempt to call reports into the Dayton net on 146.64-. If you can’t reach them, try the Preble County net on 145.47-. Finally, if you can’t reach either of these nets for some reason, you can try the Cincinnati net on 146.88-. We will never refuse a report, but ask that you try the appropriate section net first.
2. The annual state wide tornado drills have been announced. Unfortunately, they are all at different times again. Since we cover parts of all three states, we will be participating with all three states. Here is the schedule:
Kentucky – Tuesday March 9, 1999 – 10:07am
Ohio – Wednesday March 10, 1999 – 9:50am
Indiana – Wednesday March 10, 1999 1:45pm and 7:15pm
Yes, that’s right, Indiana will do it twice. We will activate the Cincinnati section net for all but the 1:45 Indiana drill. We will not bring the net up for the 1:45 Indiana drill. We do ask that, if possible, amateur radio operators check in for this drill on the appropriate day and time. Of course, we won’t complain if you check in for more than one. Our normal training net will be held after the 7:15pm Indiana drill at 7:30pm, as scheduled.
3. Listeners will be noticing that the computer synthesized voice is being implemented for some parts of the NOAA weather radio programming. NWS informs us that warnings and severe weather information will not use the synthesized voice yet this season. While it will take some getting used to, this computer generated voice will allow severe weather information to be faster and more accurate. When it is used for warnings, information goes on the air as soon as it is entered into the computer, instead of waiting for a human to read it. This also frees the meteorologists to devote more time to issuing accurate warnings.
4. The National Weather Service is planning a 25 year anniversary program on the Xenia tornado in 1974. We will issue more information on this as we get it. We know that it will be held on March 31st. From the discussion, it seems like it will be a VERY interesting program. Further discussion by the section representatives revealed that the 1974 “super-outbreak” was the reason that much of the local Skywarn program exists today.
5. Remember that beginning March 1st., we return to weekly training nets, instead of the monthly winter schedule. The training nets are held every Wednesday at 19:30, Cincinnati time.
6. Make sure to visit our web site at https://www.warn.org to check spotter training information. There you will find information on the training session we are hosting, as well as a link to the NWS training schedule page.
Now would be a great time to check your batteries, antennas, and other equipment. Severe weather season is not that far away. Hope to see many of you at local spotter training courses.