Severe Weather Net Summary

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As most of you probably know, we were activated for a potentially serious weather situation in the early morning hours of Wednesday 4/8/98. I was at work (I work for a fire department), and was able to listen to most of the net. I want to thank all who participated. The net was one of the better ones I’ve heard. Radars were showing rotation in some of the storms, indicating the possibility of tornado formation. The storms had produced tornados earlier in the day. Despite the wee hour of morning, many spotters were on the air, and stayed with us throughout. We brought the net up around 1:30 AM and secured around 4:30.

Here are some comments from the net control operators who ran the net. These are meant to be educational, not critical. Our goal is to maintain a high standard for our operations so we can provide the best possible product to the National Weather Service, and in turn the public.

From Joe Petrocy – W8YFS

After watching the storms roll in our direction all day, and waiting patiently as severe weather warnings came in from all over the area, Steve and I eventually ended up at the net control point. We were resigned to the fact that we had no hope of a good night’s sleep.

Wilmington was (as is typical in these situations) extremely busy and didn’t get a chance to call up the spotter nets until the last minute. Actually, someone (me) called to see if one was going to happen when they said, “Now. Get one up now. We were just calling you.” Not exactly the way it is supposed to go, but when it needs to happen it should happen.

We actually beat the Wilmington net operator (WB8ZZR this night) to the festivities. So for awhile we did not have anyone to report to! But he made it about ten minutes after we hit the control point.

The net went well other than some QRM on the net and picky audio on the part of 146.880. Not only were there some very helpful reports, there were also (we found out later) a number of excellent non-reports. These are just as important, folks abiding by the spotting criteria and resisting the urge to key down because they really didn’t have anything useful to add.

We were instrumental in aiding the NWS in issuing a number of warnings.

Once again our job was done and done well. Thanks all.

From Steve Lewis – N8TFD

My thoughts are in line with Joe’s (that in itself is pretty strange…)   :-)

The number of NON-reports is encouraging. We know that the spotters are out there, and will check in when:

a) They see weather events which meet the criteria for being severe…

b) We call for ANYONE in their area, just to see what they are experiencing.

And otherwise they will just LISTEN to the repeaters.

Special thanks should be given to Jake McHendrix (WD4PBF) [or the Northern KY folks in general] from Northern KY for monitoring both 147.255+ and 147.375+ and relaying reports back to 146.88-. (I am going to address this more in a separate e-mail message to Jake…)

Most of all, we should thank everyone for their patience with net control during what became a very long evening.

With one or two exceptions, we did not have to field scanner or radar reports. We also didn’t field any requests for weather forecasts…another positive.


Two points to accentuate here:

1. Sometimes, no report at all is the best report you can give.

Please adhere to the reporting criteria. There is no need to check in to the net unless you have something to report.

2. Also, please report only what you see with your own eyes.

This does NOT include what you may see on a radar from TV or the Internet. NWS already has that info. Also, please do not report what you may hear on public safety frequencies or on a scanner. These reports are usually relayed by the affected agencies. Sorting through the duplicate reports can actually delay processing the information.

Please address any comments or questions to:

Mike – W8VMX
Public Information Officer -WARN