A refresher on SKYWARN

SKYWARN net protocol education:

We have had a few Skywarn nets lately, and it looks like a few more to come possibly throughout the week. Here are a few friendly reminders of the net protocols…

We no longer ask for check-ins as this ties up the repeater for those who might need to report or have emergency traffic. There may, however, be times when net control specifically asks for operators in certain areas.

Skywarn net control only needs radio traffic that meets reportable criteria. Please remember that the net operator only wants visual reports. Police/Fire/EMS/News media reports to NWS Shreveport through their channels. Any other radio traffic could potentially prevent another operator from priority use.

Reportable criteria include:
Tornado or funnel cloud, any visual rotation
Hail of any size
Wind gusts greater than 38 mph
Severe wind damage
Flooding or rising water
Measurable snowfall
Impacts of frozen precipitation

NOT reportable:
Power outages, unless it affects a priority facility like a hospital, etc. (priority facilities usually have a backup generator)
Rain, unless flash flooding occurs
Reports from the news, weather person, and other media
Wind less than 38 mph
Reports from NWS, net control already has access to this.

When you report, slowly and clearly report WHAT-WHEN-and WHERE using the location of the nearest major road intersection

For wind speed estimation, winds greater than 38 mph can break off small branches
Trees may start breaking around 55 mph and higher.

If you are able to measure hail in inches, please do so. If unable to measure, please correspond accordingly to money, inches, or sporting balls. Please do not estimate using fruits or vegetables. I promise my tomatoes are bigger than yours.

Please help us keep the nets efficient and controlled as life-threatening weather can happen in seconds. Your local Skywarn team and NWS appreciates all operators who take part and assist with reportable criteria as the NWS radars sometimes do not see all on or around Smith County at lower altitudes. Skywarn nets and participation are very important to the NWS team and emergency response affiliates.