Alachua County SKYWARN
Standard Operating Procedures Manual
REV 04 JUN 2000
CONTENTS:CHAPTER 1. PURPOSE CHAPTER 2. LIMITATIONS CHAPTER 3. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE CHAPTER 4. MEMBERSHIP CHAPTER 5. TRAINING CHAPTER 6. ALERT AUTHORIZATION CHAPTER 7. MOBILIZATION CHAPTER 8. OPERATION PROCEDURES CHAPTER 9. NOTES ON DIRECTED NET PROCEDURES PART 9.1. CALL-UP PART 9.2. NET OPERATIONS: SPOTTER GUIDELINES CHAPTER 10. FREQUENCIES CHAPTER 11. DEFINITIONS/MISCELLANEOUS CHAPTER 12. SPOTTER SAFETY [under construction]
APPENDICES:APPENDIX A. [section removed 06/02/2000 - space available] APPENDIX B. RELATED GOVERNMENT CONTACTS APPENDIX C. SPOTTER ROSTER APPENDIX D. [section removed 06/02/2000 - space available] APPENDIX E. SPOTTER TELEPHONE BOOK APPENDIX F. NET PREAMBLES/PROCEDURES PART 1. TRAINING NET PREAMBLE PART 2. DIRECTED SKYWARN NET PREAMBLE APPENDIX G. PHONETIC ALPHABET APPENDIX H. FREQUENCIES APPENDIX I. SPOTTER'S PERSONAL CHECKLIST APPENDIX J. SPOTTER FIELD LOCATIONS AND SITE DESCRIPTIONS [under constr.] APPENDIX K. CITY LISTINGS PART 1. CITIES OF ALACHUA AND SURROUNDING COUNTIES PART 2. SURROUNDING COUNTIES AND THIER CITIES APPENDIX L. MAPS MAP 1. CITY OF GAINESVILLE [yet to be added] MAP 2. COUNTY OF ALACHUA MAP 3. SURROUNDING COUNTIES MAP 4. LOCAL REPEATER LOCATION MAP MAP 5. SPOTTER DEPLOYMENT AND SITE VISIBILITIES MAP MAP 6. NWS-JAX COUNTY WARNING AREA MAP APPENDIX M. FORMS FORM 1. NCS/SPOTTER SEVERE WEATHER EVENT REPORTING FORM FORM 2. NCS CHECK-IN AND EVENT REPORTS LOG APPENDIX N. USEFUL CHARTS CHART 1. GENERAL WIND STRENGTH CHART CHART 2. BEAUFORT WIND SCALE CHART 3. FUJITA TORNADO WINDS SCALE CHART 4. SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WINDS SCALE CHART 5. HAIL SIZE COMPARISON CHART APPENDIX O. SOME RELATED BOOKS AND OTHER MATERIALS APPENDIX P. SKYWARN-RELATED PRODUCTS MANUFACTURERS APPENDIX Q. REVISION HISTORY APPENDIX R. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS APPENDIX S. THINGS TO BE ADDED OR WORKED ON
1. PURPOSE1.1. SKYWARN is a program created by the National Weather Service which purpose is, above all, to save lives and property. The idea behind this program is to have NWS-trained weather spotters look for the visible signs of severe weather in their area, and then to report these sightings directly to the local NWS Field Office and to local Emergency Management so that both may provide adequate and immediate warning services to the general public. 1.2. Alachua County SKYWARN is an organization composed of interested individuals whose major purpose is to provide volunteer county- wide severe weather spotting services. 1.3. The purpose of this Manual is to provide set guidelines for the operation of Alachua County SKYWARN.
2. LIMITATIONS2.1. The information contained in this Manual is to be used as a guide. It is not the intent of this Manual to limit the actions of any operators who are on site and best able to assess the prevailing conditions in their area. However, members of the Alachua County SKYWARN spotter program should adhere to the guidelines set herein as much as possible. 2.2. Alachua County SKYWARN is organized to provide severe weather spotting services only. Personnel on SKYWARN duty are neither expected nor required to serve in any other function. 2.3. The authenticity of all reports is the sole responsibility of the originating authority. The validity of such messages shall be determined by either a) the Net Control Station (NCS) - if reports are taken by radio by a Net Control Operator or by b) the Alachua County Emergency Manager if reports are sent to the Alachua Co. Office of Emergency Management (ACOEM), or by c) the telephone operator at NWS-Jax - if reports are called in directly to the Jacksonville Office of the National Weather Service (NWS) using the special private 800-number. [NOTE: The official 800-number is for the use of registered SKYWARN spotters and NCSs only.] If reports are sent to ACOEM then the county Emergency Manager shall relay all reports to the NWS. Note that reports of severe weather will tend to be given greater consideration and thus a higher sense of urgency if reported through the above official channels and by officially-trained SKYWARN personnel. (The concern is over the credibility of the source of the report. The highest credibility will always be given to those who have had real training in severe weather spotting.) 2.4. Although any radio operator may report the extreme weather conditions as he sees them, such observations are to be considered those of a layman and evaluated in that context by the NCS and the NWS. 2.5. DISCLAIMER. Mobile Field Spotters should refrain from unauthorized excursions in the midst of any actual severe weather situations. A call to net does not mean start up your vehicles and immediately drive off to where-ever you like before the NCS even has a chance to begin the Roll Call. Go only where the NCS tells you -- WHEN AND IF the NCS assigns you -- while keeping the NCS constantly advised of your location to, at, and from the field location(s) assigned to you. Once assigned to a location, the spotter should remain there until either: 1) the NCS offers permission to leave that location, or 2) your local weather situation would seem to dictate your immediate removal for purposes of personal safety. We are not here to `chase,' `follow,' `tag along with' or otherwise `look for' storms! There is a difference between looking for a storm and keeping an eye on an approaching storm. Should any spotter take it upon his- or herself to mobilize without NCS authorization, including unnecessarily changing field location without the prior knowledge or permission of the NCS, then it shall be considered the official position of Alachua County SKYWARN that you did so without authorization and, therefore, we shall not be held responsible for any endangerment or actual harm which might come to you or anyone else as a result of your own negligence -- in case of any legal proceding which may follow. Spotting storms carries a certain inherent element of danger of its own, as it is. Spotting under direction minimizes this danger, although it does not eliminate it. But there is no reason to endanger yourself further by engaging in the chasing of storms. If you decide to `chase,' you do so on your own responsibility -- and at your own risk of peril. To that end, all spotters will be required to sign a Release Form which officially acknowledges that they do understand and agree to this completely. 2.6. This Manual is subject to alterations and/or revisions as required.
3. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE3.1. There shall be the following leadership positions and responsibilities in Alachua County SKYWARN: 1. The SKYWARN Coordinator shall 1) coordinate operations within SKYWARN, and 2) coordinate SKYWARN activities with other surrounding counties, where appropriate and that assistance has been requested by surrounding counties. 2. The Assistant SKYWARN Coordinator shall 1) aide the Coordinator in the performances of his duties, and 2) function as the primary liaison with other SKYWARN sub-departments. 3. [The Training Manager shall 1) establish training requirements for SKYWARN members, 2) coordinate all training activities, and 3) provide necessary training to assure backup support for designated key positions.] 4. [The Assistant Training Manager shall, in conjunction with the Training Manager, provide and coordinate appropriate training activities.] 5. The Net Manager shall 1) provide Net Control Stations (NCSs) for all nets, and 2) be responsible for the implementation of all net reports. 6. The Administrative Assistant to the Net Manager shall provide liaison between the various SKYWARN nets and the secretarial staff of the SKYWARN Coordinator. 7. [The Public Information Officer shall 1) prepare news releases to keep both the membership and the public informed of Alachua County SKYWARN activities, 2) provide copies of same to the Webmaster for electronic distribution, 3) provide copies of same to the Editor of the GARS Mouth for possible reprinting in that publication, and 4) provide for media contact during severe weather-related emergencies.] 8. [The Recruiting Manager shall recruit a sufficient number of members to handle anticipated emergencies, 2) maintain a current membership roll, and 3) develop and maintain a current membership equipment/capabilities list.] 9. [The Technical Manager shall 1) provide the necessary technical support for SKYWARN.] 10. The Webmaster shall 1) update and maintain the Alachua County SKYWARN Web Page, 2) operate and maintain the SKYWARN-L Discussion List, 3) distribute the electronic version of the Alachua County SKYWARN E-Mail Bulletin, 4) answer any E-mail inquiries sent to the SKYWARN account (on Alachua County FreeNet). The Webmaster may hire as many Assistant Webmasters as are needed to better handle the tasks available. 11. The Assistant Webmaster(s) shall aid the Webmaster in the tasks described above, as needed. [...] = (Positions not yet filled, or that we may decide to eliminate in the final draft.) 3.2. See Appendix A for a block diagram of the Alachua County SKYWARN organization.
4. MEMBERSHIP4.1. Membership in SKYWARN is open to any individual who has taken and passed a Basic Spotter Training Class sponsored by the National Weather Service Office located in Jacksonville. Note that you will not officially be considered a spotter until you have satisfied the above requirement. Your credibility in the eyes of the NCS, the NWS, and ACOEM will be given a much higher status when you have done so. 4.2. Spotter Identification Cards will be issued by NWS-Jax to all persons who have taken and passed the Basic Spotter Training Class sponsored by NWS-Jax. The Spotter ID Cards will be mailed to each spotter's mailing address indicated at the time and place of the test. 4.3. Spotter Certificates will be issued by the NWS-Jax to all persons who have taken and passed the Advanced Spotter Training Class sponsored by NWS-Jax. The Certificates will be mailed to each spotter's indicated mailing address, in a handsome grey protective folder with silver-embossed NOAA logo on the front, along with a Letter of Congratulations, and your graded original test. [NOTE: To be eligible to take the Advanced Spotter Training Class, the BASIC Spotter Training Class must first be taken and passed.] 4.4. All members are expected to register themselves and their operating equipment and capabilities with the Coordinator or Asst. Coordinator and take part in any further training sessions that may be provided. 4.5. All members must keep the Coordinator or Asst. Coordinator advised of any changes in their equipment or status that may affect the operation of SKYWARN.
5. TRAINING5.1. The Alachua County SKYWARN Training Net shall meet every Friday at 8:00 P.M. local time on the K4DPZ repeater (146.220 MHz input, 146.820 MHz output). [See Appendix F, Part 1 for Preamble.] 5.2. Preparedness classes may be called by the Coordinator or the Asst. Coordinator when it is felt that classes are the most effective means of training SKYWARN members. 5.3. Training functions may include SKYWARN participation in local events and other functions (such as weather-related talks and presentations) which improve skills in knowledge, communication, organization, discipline, and judgement. 5.4. There shall be a minimum of two Simulated Emergency Tests per year, preferably at six month intervals. [NOTE: Actual large-scale incidents involving full-scale County-wide multi- departmental participation can count towards one of these, if we are also somehow involved. Where this is the case, then there shall be at least one SKYWARN-sponsored Simulated Emergency Test given per year.] 5.5. It is expected that Alachua County SKYWARN members will continue to develop a strong background in spotting procedures and net operations on their own through outside education. Pertinent literature is available from various places - including many Internet sites, by mail-order, and at the Alachua County Library in downtown Gainesville, and at the University Library. (In case you are wondering...yes. Non- students ARE allowed entry to the University Library.) [See Appendix O for a list of Related Books and other materials and sources.]
6. ALERT AUTHORIZATION6.1. Alachua County SKYWARN shall activate a spotter net: a) When the NWS indirectly requests spotter net activation by a tagline appended to the bottom of a severe weather alert/statement [see 6.2]; b) At the direct request from the NWS Staff either by telephone call to the SKYWARN Coordinator or by contact by amateur radio means; c) Immediately upon issuance by the NWS of any severe weather-related Watch or Warning [see 11.2]; d) At the direct request from the Director of the Alachua Co. Office of Emergency Management; e) When the Coordinator or Asst. Coordinator feels weather conditions may warrant the establishment of a spotter net [see 6.3]. 6.2. When requesting the establishment of a SKYWARN net by bulletin, the National Weather Service will, in most cases, add a line to the bottom of a local severe weather bulletin or special weather statement, such as: SPOTTERS SHOULD REMAIN ALERT FOR POSSIBLE ACTIVATION LATER -- or -- SPOTTER ACTIVATION IS REQUESTED AT THIS TIME ...or by using something similar. 6.3. Regardless of whether the NWS has issued an official request for spotter activation or not, the Coordinator or Asst. Coordinator may at any time themselves determine if any weather condition exists that requires the activation of SKYWARN spotters, and act to establish a spotter net if either so chooses. 6.4. If SKYWARN activation is requested by the NWS, or if the Coordinator or Asst. Coordinator have determined that circumstances are such that spotter activation is warranted, the Coordinator or Asst. Coordinator shall: 1) notify the Director of the Alachua Co. Office of Emergency Management that a SKYWARN Net is being (or has already been) established and to expect possible incoming reports from the Net, soon and, 2) send a Liasons Stations to ACOEM/CDC to monitor the radios from there and: a) monitor weather-related RADAR and satellite imagery and report any pertinent information from same to the SKYWARN NCS, when requested by the NCS, unless there appears to be an immediate danger visible in the imagery. This individual shall be referred to as the RSAT Officer (short for RADAR/Satellite Imagery Officer). This is a temporary position lasting only for the duration of the net; b) disseminate weather-related warnings and bulletins that come in to ACOEM -- when they are requested by the NCS. This individual shall be referred to as the WBO (for Warnings and Bulletins Officer). This is a temporary position lasting only for the duration of the net. 6.5. All members of Alachua County SKYWARN should monitor the 146.22/82 MHz repeater for call-up advisories and operations whenever a severe weather condition appears to be developing, or is already apparent. 6.6. On some rare occasions, the NWS may even specify the infor- mation they wish to have reported and the times at which they wish to receive the reports. For example, they might request that observed wind speed, wind direction, temperature, and the type of precipitation be reported every hour on the half- hour. [These kinds of reports are currently limited to only a rare few spotter members who have the necessary equipment to take such readings.] The NWS may also indicate particular areas in which they are interested. For the most part though, NWS-Jax will make its own attempts to break into an active SKYWARN net directly to request any such information if and when they need it.
7. MOBILIZATION7.1. Members of SKYWARN will be placed on alert using one or more of the following methods: a) by monitoring the primary net frequency [see Chapter 8 for Operations Procedures]. (If a net is in activation the NCS will be identifying the Net every few minutes to catch those who may have turned on their radios late and are unaware.); b) by a telephone tree call-up network [see Appendix D, SKYWARN Call-Up List]; c) using pager alerting methods; d) through dissemination of E-mail Alerts; e) by a tagline appended to the bottom of NWS watches and warnings; f) by a possible spot announcement on the local broadcast station. 7.2. SKYWARN members should monitor the primary net frequency if they suspect that a severe weather condition may exist such as the presence of a bad storm. 7.3. Mobilization is initiated by the opening of a SKYWARN Net on the primary net frequency by a Net Control Station. [See Appendix F, Part 2 for the SKYWARN Directed Emergency Net Preamble.] 7.4. SKYWARN members will be checked into the net from their home or mobile stations to await further instructions. 7.5. Appropriate assignments will be made by the Coordinator or the Assistant Coordinator or Net Control Station (NCS). 7.6. Local Emergency Service agencies should be made aware of the fact that SKYWARN spotters are being dispatched about the county area and to expect their presence, so that there is no confusion and to minimize possible confrontations with law enforcement who might not otherwise know. [NOTE! In the case that a confrontation does possibly occur, spotters should never argue with any law enforement or like authority, and regardless that you have been assigned to a specified position, you should leave immediately -- kindly and without the slightest argument -- and advise the NCS that you have been requested to vacate by the authorities. But do not ever give an officer grief or any hassle. For one, we can't afford to bail you out of jail, and most important -- it might adversely affect how the other agencies view our credibility, as well as our ability to be seen by them as a responsible organization. So, do as they say, regardless of how you might feel about it. It will happen at some time. It's inevitable. Be ready for it when it happens, and do as the officer(s) request without delay.] 7.7. Alachua County SKYWARN will activate using the following sequence: 1. Condition Green (Non-Alert Readiness) - The SKYWARN Coordinator, or any of his/her Assistants based on their own judgement, may inform stations via the 146.22/82 MHz repeater that a severe weather condition may soon develop and request that all stations keep their transmissions as short as possible and allow several seconds between transmissions so that other stations may break in if necessary. Spotter members should monitor the repeater in case of net activation. This should be given as an informal advisory and not as a request to clear the frequency, but rather to keep the frequency reasonably open. It is advisable to on occasion read the latest Special Weather Statement to keep everyone updated. 2. Condition Yellow (Standy Alert) - This alert is sounded by the Coordinator, Asst. Coordinator, or Net Control Station (NCS) specifically designated by the Coordinator or Asst. Coordinator to issue the alert for the particular situation. This action is taken when the National Weather Service has a) contacted the Coordinator or Asst. Coordinator, or b) put out an official NWS severe weather or other related bulletin to request the establishment of a spotter net in our area. At this time, the approach of severe weather is imminent -- probably within a few hours, at most. Call-Up Procedures should be initiated, and spotters advised of the impending weather situation and to meet on the 146.820/220 repeater. [See Chapter 9, Paragraph 9.1 - Call-Up Procedures.] A call-up is also issued over the 146.22/82 MHz repeater, and spotter members are requested to check-in with the NCS. [See Chapter 8 - Operation Procedures.] A pseudo-directed-net (a loosely directed net, not truly directed) is established at this time, and non-participating stations may still continue to communicate where there are openings if they wish, but they should still be requested to keep their transmissions as short as possible and allow for NCS communications with spotters checking in. Spotters based at their home locations should at this time prepare/set-up for actual spotting duty. Mobiles should be distributed to key spotting field locations by the NCS [see Appendix J - Spotter Field Locations and Site Descriptions] in preparation for actual spotting duty, and should set up immediately upon arriving at the designated site. [See Appendix I - Spotter's Personal Checklist] As well, any official weather Watch and/or Warning statements should be read aloud on the repeater for all to hear. 3. Condition Red (Emergency Alert) - This alert is issued by the Coordinator, Asst. Coordinator, or a Net Control Station specifically designated by the Coordinator or Asst. Coordinator to do so. At this point, the Condition Red should be issued when the severe weather is within about an hour of approaching. A directed net is officially established on the 146.82 MHz repeater, and further spotter member stations are checked in, if any. All spotters are advised to now scan the skies for severe weather events [defined in Chapter 11], and to report them to the NCS, if any are seen. NCS should check RADAR regularly and fine-tune the positioning of mobile spotters, if necessary, making sure to keep them out of the way of possible hardship and/or harm. If any specific weather information has been requested by the National Weather Service prior to net start-up, this information shall be collected from the spotters and provided immediately after spotters have been checked-in. If the NWS has requested that certain specific weather information be provided at regular intervals, then that information shall be collected and provided at the appropriate requested times. Otherwise, severe weather-related event reports shall be disseminated to both the NWS and ACOEM as soon as they come in from the spotters. [See Chapter 11 for a list of those things acceptable to report.] As updates to local watches, warnings, and other special weather statements are issued, they should be immediately read to the net. RADAR updates should also be described to the net every 10 minutes. [NCS may designate other stations to help out with the reading of weather statements and in keeping the net apprised of the latest RADAR status (as defined in Chapter 6, 6.4, 2), if he/she so chooses.]
8. OPERATION PROCEDURES8.1. The Coordinator, Asst. Coordinator, or a designated Net Control Station will execute the following procedure: 1. Issue a Condition Yellow Alert on the 146.82 repeater advising all stations that a SKYWARN net is being established. The following call-up message is read over the repeater: This is [callsign], Net Control Station for Alachua County SKYWARN. A Condition Yellow Alert is hereby issued in preparation for establishing a directed SKYWARN net. All spotter stations are requested to check in at this time. The Net will be established at (approximately) [time]. This is [callsign]. Out. After taking check-ins, the NCS shall assign Field Spotters to key field positions in preparation for spotting duties. Also, the NCS shall take volunteers for RSAT, WBO, and SSO duties and dispatch them downtown to ACOEM/CDC to man the radios and equipment there. 2. Issue a Condition Red alert and actually establish the SKYWARN Net. Read the following message over the repeater: This is [callsign], [callsign phonetically], Net Control Station for Alachua County SKYWARN, establishing the SKYWARN Net at [time]. This is a directed net and all communications will be carried out at the direction of this Net Control Station. Only stations with defined severe weather-related reports [see Chapter 11] or EMERGENCY-related traffic should break into this net. The purpose of this net is to provide information to the Alachua Co. Office of Emergency Management and to the National Weather Service. Take additional check-ins and request all stations begin spotting for severe weather. 3. Remind all stations to monitor the frequency but not to call in unless they have defined severe weather-related [see Chapter 11] emergency traffic or important information related to the alert. 4. When stations are reporting severe weather-related events and/or NWS-requested information, be certain that the location of the reporting station is stated. Well-known areas of the county (using commonly-known landmarks as much as possible) should also be specified, e.g., Turkey Creek subdivision of Gainesville, two miles northwest of the Highway Patrol Station located at the corner of NW 34th Street and Hwy 441. After each report is given, the Net Control Station shall relay the report by telephone to the Alachua Co. Office of Emergency Management, and ACOEM will relay reports to the Jacksonville Office of the National Weather Service. 5. Identify the Net periodically as follows: This is [callsign], Net Control Station for Alachua County SKYWARN, conducting a SKYWARN Net. [NOTE: It is advisable to repeat the above advisory every few minutes in case there are any late people just turning on their radios.] 6. Keep track of all stations participating in the Net and the information reported by them. If reports of defined severe weather phenomena [see Chapter 11] are received -- e.g., damaging winds, large hail, funnel clouds aloft or a tornado touchdown, etc. -- ask if any other station in the same area can confirm the sighting. [See Appendix M for Severe Weather Reporting Form that both NCS and spotters should use to record a spotted event.] 7. Upon confirmation of a definition severe weather event, the NCS shall immediately disseminate the spotter report(s) by telephone to the Alachua County Office of Emergency Management (ACOEM), and ACOEM will then in turn notify the Jacksonville Office of the National Weather Service. If telephone lines are down, the NCS shall use the designated liaison frequency to contact ACOEM. Alerting ACOEM allows them to immediately a) issue time-sensitive warnings to the local populace over radio and television and, b) to possibly mobilize emergency units, if necessary, either in preparation for, or in response to, any severe weather-related threat. [See Appendix H, Frequencies for a list of appropriate frequencies to use.] 8. Hold all reporting stations to short, abbreviated communications limited to the requested information only. Keep Net Control Station transmissions as brief as possible and allow for breakers during communications with reporting stations. 9. When the National Weather Service indicates that the SKYWARN Net is no longer needed, secure the Net. The Net is secured by reading the following message: This is [callsign], Net Control Station for Alachua County SKYWARN, thanking all stations who have participated in this Net. Your help has been greatly appreciated. All stations may now secure. This Net is now secured at [time]. This is [callsign]. Out.
9. NOTES ON DIRECTED NET PROCEDURES9.1. CALL-UP. Call-up will be conducted by the Coordinator, Asst. Coordinator, or a designated Net Control Station (NCS), as follows: 9.1.1. Regular weekly (training) nets. 1. The NCS will identify the NCS and state the name and purpose of the organization. 2. The NCS will call for formal written traffic from any station. Stations with this type of traffic will be noted. Routine traffic will be handled at the end of the net. Traffic with higher precedence will be taken immediately. [Normally though, a SKYWARN net does not deal in formal written traffic, but for the Regular/Training Net we will allow an opportunity for it.] 3. Roll call will be taken and any stations not on the roll call roster will be checked in after roll call. Both members and non-members are invited to check in. Any informal traffic for the net will be noted. [Refer to Appendix F, Part 1 for the Training Net Preamble.] 9.1.2. Emergency Net Call-Up. 1. Upon notification that an actual spotter network has been called for either by NWS-Jax or by ACOEM, or by the Coordinator or Asst. Coordinator, the Coordinator or Asst. Coordinator shall refer to the Call-Up List [see Appendix D] and begin notifying SKYWARN members by the telephone tree, pager tree, and by e-mail notification. 2. The NCS, after being notified, shall commence call-up on the 146.22/82 MHz repeater, transmitting using the special emergency call-up PL sub-tone carrier [see 10.3 for the PL frequency], by identifying his/her station, announcing that a SKYWARN operation is beginning, issuing a Condition Yellow, and giving whatever information that is practical on the nature of the weather and the requirements of the operation. 3. The NCS shall ask for available stations to check in starting with callsigns only. If necessary -- owing to a large response -- check-ins may be taken sorted by suffix groups starting with suffixes A-F, then G-M and N-Z. 4. If this initial call-up does not yield sufficient responses, call-up by telephone, other local area repeaters, simplex frequencies, pagings, and Internet e-mailings may be conducted as appropriate and practical. 5. Call-up is comsidered complete when sufficient stations have checked in to meet the needs of the operations. 6. If the situation is of such an emergency that the ARES Net would also need to be called up at some later time during SKYWARN net operations, and where at the same time there is no imminent severe weather threat ongoing (e.g., say, a tornado actually on the ground, or a funnel cloud actually spotted and being tracked), and where the operation of both nets by usual procedures dictates the use of the 146.82 repeater, then the NCS of the SKYWARN Net will, if appropriate or requested to, volunteer to move the SKYWARN Net to the next best suitable repeater and commence operations there (e.g., 146.91, or 146.985, 146.79, as a few examples). If the chosen repeater proves insufficiently capable of handling SKYWARN operations, another local repeater shall be chosen until the best capable one is chosen. The actual moving the SKYWARN net should only occur in situations where ARES operations require such a high activity, due to an immediate emergency, that concurrant ARES and SKYWARN operations would only interfere with each other. Otherwise, if activity of both are of low enough, both could probably operate concurrantly very easily and they might actually be of a mutual help to each other. Its an NCS call, dependant upon the current situation and whether concurrant activity seems to be helping or hindering operations. Otherwise, if requested by the ARES EC to move, then the SKYWARN net should be moved. 7. Stations who have checked into the net should be prepared to give the NCS certain information on their operating condition, availability, access to specified locations, and any other pertinent facts as requested (e.g., mobile, at home, available for mobile spotting duty if needed, using HT, using base or mobile with only limited power/range, distance from a current particular severe weather event, etc.). However, this information should not be given unless and until it is specifically asked for by the NCS and the information given should be confined to only that which is requested. [For example: If the NCS asks for your estimated time to a location, he usually is not interested in what kind of car you are driving, whether its drizzling where you are, or the like.] If you are not able to furnish accurate information, say so and stand by for further instructions. 9.2. NET OPERATIONS: SPOTTER GUIDELINES The following instructions apply to regular nets, drills, and actual severe weather net operations: 9.2.1. Once you have checked into a net, be sure to monitor the operation as continuously as possible. Often, vital information is given during the early stages of an operation. Pay attention to what is going on. In addition, when the Net Control Station (NCS) is ready to give assignments or needs any information, or reassign you, you must be ready to respond. If, at any time during the operation, you must leave the net for any reason, inform Net Control of how long you expect to be out of the net and notify the NCS when you are back on frequency. This allows the NCS to conduct the operation with greater efficiency. 9.2.2. After you have received your assignment, proceed to that location as quickly -- and safely -- as possible. Maintain contact with the NCS while en route. 9.2.3. Identification 1. Once operations have commenced, the NCS is required to satisfy the FCC station identification requirements. He shall do so by identifying the station at least once every 10 minutes in accordance with FCC regulations. 2. When calling to be recognized by Net Control, it is not necessary to give the Net Control Station callsign; (e.g., `KA4XXX this is KA4ZZZ' isn't necessary to be recognized and all that you need to do is give your own callsign and the NCS will pick you up). In a Directed Net, all stations will communicate with Net Control unless directed to do otherwise. Therefore, transmitting your callsign and nothing else means that you are requesting to be recognized by the NCS. If you have pertinent information for Net Control or for another station on the net, your callsign plus the word `info' is sufficient to make your needs known. Net Control will acknowledge as soon as possible. If you are not recognized within a reasonable time, repeat your call. If you have reason to believe that you are not being heard by the NCS, then a longer call may be appropriate or you may request a relay. 3. If your information carries a high priority or is of some extreme importance, such as when a funnel cloud or tornado, or large hail, damaging winds, or similar have been spotted, then your callsign followed by the words `Priority' should be used. 4. Further identifying by stations on the net is not necessary unless Net Control needs to know who is transmitting. 5. The use of `tactical' callsigns may be helpful in some situations. Such callsigns may be as simple as unit numbers (e.g., Unit One, Unit Two, etc.), as detailed as your location (Sabine Inc., Oaks Mall, Paynes Prairie, High Springs, etc.), or a combination of both (High Springs One, Alachua Three, Newberry One, etc.). Acronyms of duty/purpose may also be used (such as RSAT, WBO, SSO, EC, or NWS, etc.). Tactical callsigns are only to be used if assigned by the NCS and will thereafter be used for the duration of the operation. The use of tactical callsigns can greatly increase net efficiency, but does not obviate the need to meet FCC identification requirements. 9.2.4. Care should be taken to listen carefully before transmitting. All stations may not be able to hear all other stations on the net, especially during simplex operations. Try to determine that the frequency is clear before transmitting. [The NCS may, if he/she so chooses -- in order to facilitate a particularly noisy spotter's reports -- request the noisy spotter to transmit into a repeater nearer to his/her own location, and listen on the main repeater, if the spotter has the capability to do so. For example, if a station in High Springs is on an HT and cannot easily make the 146.82 repeater in Gainesville, but he/she can reach the 145.47 repeater in High Springs, then the spotter could be instructed to transmit into the 145.47 repeater and to listen for responses from the NCS on the 146.82 repeater. The NCS could then listen for the weak spotter on the 145.47 output (using a second radio if he has one), and transmit as normal into the 146.82 repeater. (The Radio Shack HTX-202 HT can handle such wide cross-frequency splits.) Or, the NCS could designate another station who can reach both repeaters to meet the weak-signal spotter on the 145.47 repeater and gather the weak-signal spotter's information and then relay it back to the NCS on the 82 repeater. It is completely up to the NCS to decide how best to handle the situation. 9.2.5. Pay as close attention as possible to the net operations. Often, information passed to the NCS from another station will be of importance to you. If you copy this information direct, it can save the time necessary to repeat it. 9.2.6. When you are recognized by Net Control, state your business as quickly and clearly as possible. Avoid unnecessary verbiage. 1. If you have traffic, state the nature and destination of your traffic, but do not launch into your message until you are advised that the NCS is ready to receive it. You may be given instructions to move to another frequency or to transmit your traffic direct to another station, if necessary. So, wait for instructions. 2. If you have a question or information for the NCS, use good judgement and follow the patterns that have been established for the particular operation in progress. If you have a lengthy communication, you should so advise the NCS and wait for instruction. 9.2.7. Questions may arise for many reasons. If you do not understand something clearly, ask the appropriate questions to be sure that you can fulfill what is needed of you. However, questioning the procedures set by Net Control is generally not appropriate. Remember, the NCS usually has a better view of the overall picture and has set up the net to meet the needs of the operation as seen from a centralized vantage point. On the other hand, from your vantage point in the field, you may be able to directly observe a changing situation that could affect the entire operation. If you feel a suggestion is in order, by all means offer it, but as a suggestion only. Under no circumstances argue with or criticize Net Control during an operation. There will be plenty of time for that after the operation is over, if you still feel that criticism is warranted. 9.2.8. The use of alternate or additional frequencies may be necessary during a complex operation. It is up to the NCS to assign all frequencies. 1. Assigned simplex frequencies should be standard simplex frequencies as shown in the ARRL band plan unless it is necessary to utilize a repeater. 2. Frequencies should be chosen to minimize interference among stations operating in close proximity to one another. The 145-MHz and 147-MHz simplex ranges should be utilized if possible. Ragchew frequencies such as 146.52 MHz should be avoided. 3. Stations moving off the main net frequency should do so only at the direction of the NCS and should inform the NCS when they are going to shift to a different frequency and when they return to the net. 4. If a sub-net is to be established, the NCS will assign a sub-net control station, and all main net procedures will apply to the sub-net as well. 9.2.9. In our role as spotters, we must strive for efficiency. However, being efficient does not necessarily mean being fast. Transmissions should be made at a speed that allows the receiving station to copy easily and to write down important information, if necessary. 9.2.10. `Prowords' or procedural words, help speed communications and often are able to express complex ideas in a single word. They are only effective, however, if everyone understands them and uses them correctly. 1. `Over' is used to indicate the end of a transmission and is an invitation for the receiving station to reply. 2. `Out' indicates the end of a transmission and the end of the `conversation' or series of transmissions. No reply is expected. 3. `Roger' means that a message has been received and understood in its entirely. It does not mean `yes,' or signify agreement. 4. `Affirmative' and `Negative.' Someone once quipped that these were short for `Yes' and `No.' In any case, they are appropriate because they are distinctive sounding words and their meaning is clear. This can be helpful, especially under marginal conditions. 5. `Direct' as in, `Are you direct?' means `Did you copy directly?' and refers to one station's copy of another's transmission. 6. `Q' Signals were developed for telegraphy and normally are not appropriate for voice communications. The object of using `Prowords' is to make yourself easily understood. 9.3. The Spotter Safety Officer (SSO) The NCS shall assign a Spotter Safety Officer (SSO), whose duty shall be to at all times keep constant tabs on spotter positions relative to storms and, when appropriate, to immediately recommend to the NCS the removal of a spotter to an alternate position if it becomes at any time apparent that any spotter may be in the path of danger, or placed in a situation which could endanger him. (This is why it is important for spotters to remain where they are assigned and to move only when they are told to by the NCS.) The SSO should have a good general knowledge of storm structures and storm characteristics so as to be able to understand what is happening -- or might be happening -- within a storm, and where the areas of highest danger are at all times, so that he is able to properly direct spotters away from them. 9.3.1. The SSO shall be assigned by the NCS -- along with the RSAT and WBO officers -- to the Office of Emergency Management, downtown. 9.3.2. The duties of the Spotter Safety Officer shall be to: 1. keep an eye on the RADAR and visible satellite imagery, and 2. pay close attention to reports from spotters on bearings and distances to rain areas (downdraft areas), areas of falling hail, and/or any funnel clouds or tornadoes in the vicinity of each spotter, so that the SSO can -- 3. plot these events on a map of the county, including a) the locations of each spotter, b) the locations of rain areas, hail areas, and/or tornadic areas relative to each spotter, c) the directions of storms. ...and then, when it looks like it is necessary... 4. immediately advise Net Control of any possible spotter danger situations, and can recommend the quickest and most direct route away for each spotter. 9.3.3 The SSO shall only relay his recommendations to the NCS, and the NCS shall handle the actual removal of the spotters that the SSO has recommended be removed.
10. FREQUENCIES10.1. The primary operating frequency is: 146.22/82 MHz [the GARS K4DPZ repeater located in NW Gainesville]. 10.2. Spotters wishing to receive only SKYWARN-related comms should program their transceivers to OPEN SQUELCH when the above PL sub-tone is RECEIVED. Using this method they may then block out the unwanted chatter inbetween nets while still able to be alerted if an actual Call-Up should occur. [During actual net situations, however, and once you have checked in, you should disable the PL sub-tone receive so that you do not miss the transmissions of other spotters who may not have PL sub-tone transmit capability.] 10.3. During call-up for an actual directed SKYWARN Emergency Net, the NCS shall broadcast a PL sub-tone carrier in his transmissions. The PL sub-tone frequency to be used is [#M7/250.3 Hz]. [NOTE: It is recommended that a higher-frequency PL tone be used. Some repeaters tend to amplify the lower-frequency PL tones and the hum can be irritating.] 10.4. If an emergency should require that communication be established with the immediately surrounding areas, refer to Appendix H for a list of other operating Frequencies.
11. DEFINITIONS/MISCELLANEOUS11.1. Definitions. ACOEM - Alachua County Office of Emergency Management. ARES - Amateur Radio Emergency Service. CDC - Cooperative Dispatch Center. Doppler (RADAR) Detected Tornado - Term used by the NWS in a Tornado Warning statement when doppler RADAR indicates a TVS (see) - a localized area of wind rotation usually indicative of tornado development within a storm - from which a tornado may (or may not) soon drop. It does not mean that a funnel or a tornado is actually on the ground or has even been spotted at the time of issuance. Nonetheless, spotters should still remain on an elevated spotting status in the area specified in the Warning. The NWS usually (but doesn't always - so you need to be awake) include the following additional paragraph of definition of a Doppler Detected Tornado in the same Warning: A DOPPLER RADAR DETECTED TORNADO MEANS THAT THERE IS STRONG ROTATION WITHIN A STORM. THE STORM MAY NOT BE PRODUCING A TORNADO AT THE MOMENT...BUT WILL LIKELY DURING THE WARNING PERIOD.... All that it means is that conditions are right for tornado development, but that a tornado may not necessarily be forming. The reason for making such a big stink about this is because we must be very careful with how we word things over the air. People are listening - and you never know who - and we don't want to be the harbingers of misinformation or unnecessary panic. If we receive such a warning and then we start saying things like `the tornado should be [here],' when we're really talking about a Doppler Indicated Tornado, then those who are listening might misinterpret this to mean that we are actually in the process of tracking a real, spotted tornado on the ground. Be very careful with what you say on the air. This is especially important. Funnel Cloud - A violent, rotating column of air pendant from a cumulonimbus cloud and which does not touch the ground. NCO - Net Control Operator. NCS - Net Control Station. NOAA - National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. NWS - National Weather Service. NWS-JAX - Jacksonville Field Office of the National Weather Service. PIO - Public Information Officer. Prowords - (see 9.2.10.) RACES - Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service. Severe Weather Bulletins - (see 11.2.) Tornado - A violent, rotating column of air pendant from a cumulonimbus cloud and which touches the ground. TVS - Tornadic Vortex Signature - A RADAR-only term. Indicates an area of tight rotation within a storm which could mean that a tornado is forming and may (or may not) be descending very soon. Spotters should be on elevated watch status for the possible appearance of a funnel or tornado in the area specified. Wall Cloud - An isolated lowering of the cloud base -- possibly with signs of rotation.
11.2. Severe Weather Bulletins. 11.2.1. WATCHES -- Indicated by a YELLOW BOX on a weather map. Issued by NWS when a particular weather hazard is possible for: - Severe Thunderstorms - Floods - Tornados - Hurricanes 11.2.2. WARNINGS -- Indicated by a RED BOX on a weather map. Issued by NWS when a particular weather hazard is imminent or has been seen and reported by spotters, for: - Severe Thunderstorms - Floods - Tornados - Hurricanes
11.3. Severe Weather Event Reporting. 11.3.1. The following sighted events may be reported to the NCS of a severe weather net: o Large MULTICELL/TRAIN storms o Thunderstorms which visibly SPLIT into `LEFT-' AND `RIGHT- MOVERS' o Storm towers with BARBERPOLED STRIATIONS in the updraft o Storm towers exhibiting TILTED STRUCTURES o Storms with OVERSHOOTING TOP o Storms with FLANKING LINE o Storms with BACKSHEARED ANVIL, esp. with ROLLED `LIP' or `KNUCKLES' o Anvils with MAMMATUS on the underside o Encroachment of GUST FRONTS/OUTFLOW BOUNDARIES o Encroachment of SQUALL LINES o Sudden LARGE TEMPERATURE DROPS o Sustained CHANGES IN WIND DIRECTION o ACCESSORY CLOUDS such as SHELF CLOUDS, ROLL CLOUDS, and WALL CLOUDS o FEEDER or INFLOW BANDS o INFLOW STINGERS o `BEAVER' or `TAIL' CLOUDS o Significant CLOUD-TO-GROUND LIGHTNING - Lightning of rapid repetitive occurance...Not important if only occasional. o HEAVY RAINS - greater than 1/2-inch/hour o DOWNBURSTS/MICROBURSTS/MACROBURSTS - Look for a rounded `glob' suddenly coming down from cloud base, and/or the telltale `rain-' or `dust-foot' at the ground. o Significant FLOODING - in streets, low-lying areas, rivers o HAIL - 1/4-inch (dime-size) or larger, relate to coin size, if possible. o DARK GREENISH COLOR to clouds. - Could be hail refracting sunlight. o DUST PLUME - Non-rotating `cloud' of dust raised by straight line winds. Often seen in microburst or behind a gust front. o HIGH WINDS - over 38mph, gale-force or greater o WIND-RELATED DAMAGE - Numerous large limbs down - Trees down - Power lines down - Damage to structures, vehicles, etc. o ROTATING WALL CLOUDS o FUNNEL CLOUDS - Look for persistent, rapid rotation o TORNADOES - Look for rotation and debris coming up from surface o DEBRIS CLOUDS o WATERSPOUTS - Look for rotation and spray coming up from surface o SNOW ON GROUND - over say, a 1/4-inch o ICE - on roadways, power lines, trees [NOTE: The latter two can be especially dangerous here in Florida since most Florida motorists are unaccustomed to driving in such situations.)
11.3.2. Only the following defined severe weather events shall actually be reported to the Alachua Co. Office of Emergency Management: o HEAVY RAINS - greater than 1"/hour o DOWNBURSTS/MICROBURSTS/MACROBURSTS - Look for a rounded `glob' suddenly coming down from cloud base, and/or the telltale `rain-' or `dust-foot' at the ground. o SIGNIFICANT FLOODING - in streets, low-lying areas, rivers o HAIL - 1/2-inch (dime-size) or larger, relate to coin size, if possible. o DAMAGING WINDS - over 38mph, gale-force or greater o WIND-RELATED DAMAGE - Numerous large limbs down - Trees down - Power lines down - Damage to structures, vehicles, etc. o FUNNEL CLOUDS - Look for persistent, rapid rotation o TORNADOES - Look for rotation and debris coming up from surface o WATERSPOUTS - Look for rotation and spray coming up from surface o SNOW ON GROUND - over say, a 1/2-inch o ICE - on roadways, power lines, trees [NOTE: The latter two can be especially dangerous here in Florida since most Florida motorists are unaccustomed to driving in such situations.)
11.3.3. Only the following defined severe weather events shall actually be reported to the National Weather Service: o HEAVY RAINS - greater than 1"/hour o DOWNBURSTS/MICROBURSTS/MACROBURSTS - Look for a rounded `glob' suddenly coming down from cloud base, and/or the telltale `rain-' or `dust-foot' at the ground. o SIGNIFICANT FLOODING - in streets, low-lying areas, rivers o HAIL - 1/2-inch (dime-size) or larger, relate to coin size, if possible. o DAMAGING WINDS - over 38mph, gale-force or greater o WIND-RELATED DAMAGE - Numerous large limbs down - Trees down - Power lines down - Damage to structures, vehicles, etc. o FUNNEL CLOUDS - Look for persistent, rapid rotation o TORNADOES - Look for rotation and debris coming up from surface o WATERSPOUTS - Look for rotation and spray coming up from surface o SNOW ON GROUND - over say, a 1/2-inch o ICE - on roadways, power lines, trees [NOTE: The latter two can be especially dangerous here in Florida since most Florida motorists are unaccustomed to driving in such situations.)
11.3.4. What We Should NEVER Hear! As far as our spotters are concerned, our motto is `Accuracy, Responsibility, Credibility'. In our job, each one of those is just as important as the other. If we are consistently inaccurate in our reports, consistently irresponsible, our credibility suffers in the eyes of those who depend on us the most: Local Emergency Management, the NWS, and the public - the latter being the ones we are really there to serve. If we can't take our job seriously, noone else will, either. To that end, no spotter should EVER be heard to make the following reports or observations: 1. NON-SEVERE WEATHER EVENTS: The following minor events are to be expected during ANY thunderstorm and are generally considered NOT to be of any danger and therefore of little or useless value to an NCS, the NWS, or ACOEM and so, these should not be reported. Here, we shall present them in a more light-hearted way that we hope will tend to make them less prone to be forgotten. In David Letterman `Top Ten' style: 1) Nuttin' happenin' here. This is a good thing, and certainly nothing the NWS needs to know about. 2) Dark skies; dark clouds; boy, it got dark, here! Unless reports of albedo are specifically requested by the NCS, please do not offer them. 3) Rain here; light rain here; some rain here; just a drizzle, here. For those not aware of this: thunderstorms usually include rain. 4) Thunder heard. Psst! Care to guess why they call them thunderstorms? 5) Some lightning. OCCASIONAL lightning is normal and expected. If the NWS is forecasting thunderstorms, then they are aware that this includes lightning, and so should you be. It is not an unusual feature of any thunderstorm. So, don't report it unless it is very frequent, and thus an obvious danger. 6) `Heavy' lightning. Lightning isn't `heavy.' Lightning can be reported to be frequent; and it can be close. But it is certainly not `heavy.' 7) Hail less than 1/4-inch. That is, `BB-sized' is not in your vocabulary. 8) Rains less than 1 inch per hour. 9) Winds below 38 mph. 10) Small puddles might make a foot wet but they do not make for a `flood.' If, however, while stomping through a puddle, your child happens to completely disappear -- then it might be good to call this in. 2. AVOID EMBARRASSMENT! VERIFY AND BE SURE! Horses with injuries sustained by scratching upon barbed-wire fences do not an injury from hail make! Such a report actually made it to the NWS in the Summer of 1997 and it was even repeated in a nationally disseminated Local Storm Report, as well. Furthermore, it was also reported to the local TV news as a `horse injured from hail.' It was retracted and corrected by the TV station the very next day because the farmer who reported it had discovered later that the horse's injuries had really been sustained by itching a scratch upon a barbed-wire fence on the edge of his property. He caught his horse doing this after the storm and this produced injuries exactly like the ones which prompted his original call-in. At least, though, he was a good samaritan and he corrected himself. But some people have absolutely no clue at all what they re doing when they make that report to the NWS! They call in reports based upon nothing other than assumptions, with absolutely no confirmed basis in fact at all. This can adversely affect the credibility of the rest of us if reports like this were ever to emanate from local spotters consistently. So lets be careful! If the general public cannot be trusted to make a proper judgement of the situation, then let's ourselves, as spotters, try to be the ones who do get it right -- as consitently as possible. This will develop a confidence and trust between ourselves and the NWS. Try to keep yourself collected and calm. Take a deep breath. Analyze the situation. Report only what you see, exactly as you see it. But add no more than that. And if you are unsure of something, don't be afraid to say so. But certainly don't withhold any information from the NCS for fear of embarrassment. It would be more embarrassing later if you were to realize that you SHOULD have spoken up about something earlier, now that something is happening and your information could have helped. Lastly, get another spotter to confirm the event, if possible. 2. RADAR-OBSERVABLE-ONLY Events: - a `Doppler Indicated Tornado' [see Definitions] - a `Hook,' or `Hook Echo' - a `Mesocyclone'* - a `TVS,' or `Tornadic Vector Signature' [see Definitions] * (An updraft tower with twisted striations might be indicative of a mesocyclone but that is not always the case.) 3. FUJITA-SCALE TORNADO STRENGTH ESTIMATES: No spotter should EVER attempt make an estimation of a currently visible tornado's strength using the Fujita- scale (e.g., F0 - F-5). The Fujita Scale is an estimation of a tornado's strength based solely upon observations of the AFTERMATH of a tornado, and NOT by the currently visible physical size and/or characteristics of a tornado. It is one usually made by official, trained NWS and/or OEM personnel, and NOT usually by spotters. If you see damage you may report it but, unless you are trained to differentiate between damage from straight- line winds and damage from a tornado, then a `tornado' is not part of the equation. It's just `wind damage' to you - regardless of what you might see lying around. An inexperienced person can easily be fooled. For example, it is a wive's tale that `twisted metal' can only mean that a tornado did that. Straight-line winds can do the same thing under certain circumstances. As well, broken tree tops lying on the ground do not necessarily mean that a tornado broke them off, either. There is a much larger scene to be considered as a whole in damage surveys. And this duty is not part of your job description.
A. [section removed 06/02/2000][space available]
B. RELATED GOVERNMENT CONTACTSRELATED GOVERNMENT AGENCY CONTACTS: o State Emergency Management Craig Fugate, State Emergency Manager Tallahassee, FL 32301 o Alachua County Office of Emergency Management Steve Abrams, Alachua County Emergency Manager 12 SE 1st Drive Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 374-5223 o National Weather Service - Jacksonville Field Office Fred Johnson, Warning Coordination Meteorologist 13701 FANG Drive Jacksonville, FL 32218 (904) 741-4370 o Suwannee River Water Management District Highway 90 West Live Oak, FL 32060 (904) 362-1001 or (800) 604-2272 (Information Line) o American Red Cross Emergency Services - Alachua County Chapter 605 NW 53rd Avenue Gainesville, FL 32609 (352) 376-4669 o WCJB / TV-20 News 6220 NW 43rd Street Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 377-2020 (News Line) o WUFT / TV-5 1200 Weimer Hall Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 392-5551 (Main) (352) 392-4311 (News Line) o Alachua County Rumor Control (352) 334-0800
C. Spotter Roster - See online web page
D. [section removed 06/02/2000][space available]
E. SPOTTER TELEPHONE BOOKSee online web page ______________________
F. Net Preambles/ProceduresPart A -- Training Net Preamble: ALACHUA COUNTY SKYWARN TRAINING NET PREAMBLE ____________________________________________ OPENING REPORT -------------- CALLING ALL AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS, THIS IS (_callsign_). MY NAME IS (_first name, last Name_) AND I AM LOCATED IN (_city, state_). I AM THE NET CONTROL STATION FOR THIS, THE FRIDAY, ____________, 199_ SESSION OF THE ALACHUA COUNTY SKYWARN TRAINING NET. THIS NET MEETS EVERY FRIDAY AT 8:00 P.M. LOCAL TIME HERE ON THE K4DPZ REPEATER LOCATED IN NORTHWEST GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA, OPERATING ON AN INPUT FREQUENCY OF 146.22 MHZ, AND AN OUTPUT FREQUENCY OF 146.82 MHZ. THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THIS TRAINING NET IS TO PRACTICE NET OPERATIONS SIMILAR TO THOSE THAT WOULD BE USED DURING AN ACTUAL EMERGENCY ACTIVATION SITUATION. IF AN ACTUAL EMERGENCY ACTIVATION WERE REQUIRED DUE TO THE IMPENDING THREAT OF SEVERE WEATHER CONDITIONS, THIS NET WOULD THEN BE ACTIVATED AS THE ALACHUA COUNTY SKYWARN EMERGENCY NET, FOR THE PURPOSE OF SPOTTING AND TRACKING DANGEROUS THUNDERSTORMS AND THEIR EFFECTS AND, WHERE CALLED FOR, TO PROVIDE ANY RELATED COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN ALACHUA COUNTY AND IT'S NEIGHBORING REGIONS. THE HOPE AND INTENTION IS TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE FOREWARNING OF SEVERE-WEATHER-RELATED EMERGENCIES TO THE CITIZENS OF ALACHUA COUNTY. ALL AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS ARE ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS NET AND TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO THE NET AS OUTLINED IN THE STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES MANUAL. IF ANY STATION NEEDS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THIS NET OR NEEDS A COPY OF THE S.O.P. MANUAL, PLEASE CONTACT THIS STATION AFTER THE NET. CONTINUITY REPORT ----------------- THIS IS A DIRECTED NET AND STATIONS MAY _NOT_ CALL OTHER STATIONS WITHOUT GOING THROUGH NET CONTROL. CALL FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS ---------------------- THIS IS (_callsign_). ARE THERE ANY STATIONS WITH EMERGENCY TRAFFIC? COME NOW. ARE THERE ANY STATIONS WITH ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR THE NET? IF SO, PLEASE CALL (_callsign_) AT THIS TIME. (Afterwards, NCS should list his/her own announcements, if any, or pass.) ROLL-CALL --------- I WILL NOW PROCEED WITH A ROLL-CALL. (Refer to SKYWARN Member List.) THIS CONCLUDES THE REGULAR ROLL. SECURING THE NET ---------------- IS THERE ANYTHING THIS STATION OR THE NET CAN DO FOR ANYONE BEFORE WE CLOSE THE NET? OR ARE THERE ANY LATE CHECK-INS? IF SO, CALL NOW. THIS CONCLUDES TODAY'S SESSION OF THE ALACHUA COUNTY SKYWARN TRAINING NET. I'D LIKE TO THANK ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE CHECKED IN TONIGHT AND I ENCOURAGE YOUR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN THIS NET. IF YOU ARE NOT CURRENTLY A MEMBER OF ALACHUA COUNTY SKYWARN AND YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET INVOLVED, OR TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR PROGRAM, FEEL FREE TO CONTACT TODD SHERMAN, KB4MHH, BY LAND-LINE AT (352) 375-2440, OR STOP BY OUR WEB PAGE ON THE INTERNET AT `www.afn.org/~skywarn'. YOU CAN ALSO REACH US BY E-MAIL AT `firstname.lastname@example.org'. THIS IS (_callsign_), NOW CLOSING THE ALACHUA COUNTY SKYWARN TRAINING NET AND RETURNING THE REPEATER TO NORMAL USE. 7-3, AND GOOD EVENING TO ALL.
Part B -- SKYWARN Net Preamble: [To be added]
G. Phonetic AlphabetMILITARY PHONETIC ALPHABET A Alpha N November B Bravo O Oscar C Charlie P Poppa [pronounced `pah-pah'] D Delta Q Quebec [pronounced `key-bec'] E Echo R Romeo F Foxtrot S Sierra [pronounced `see-air-uh'] G Golf T Tango H Hotel U Uniform I India V Victor J Juliet W Whiskey K Kilo X X-Ray L Lima Y Yankee M Mike Z Zulu
H. FrequenciesA.C. SKYWARN Net (F-1) - 146.820 (-) Main SKYWARN channel. For ACOEM Linkup reporting confirmed sighted Inter-county Linkup severe weather events to NCS, and receiving NCS commands, as well as reporting events to ACOEM, and for use in Inter- county liason (Alachua, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Gilchrist, Levy, Marion, Putnam, and Union counties.) [K4DPZ/R] Spotter Intercom (F-2) - 146.790 (-) Spotter-to-spotter comm channel. For direct spotter-to-spotter intercommunication without causing interference to main net channel. Good coverage central to western county area. [W4EAS/R] Spotter Intercom (F-3) - 146.985 (-) Alt. spotter-to-spotter comm channel. Good coverage central to eastern county area. [K4DPZ/R] Spotter Intercom (F-4) - 146.910 (-) Alt. spotter-to-spotter comm channel. Good coverage central to southern county area. [W4DFU/R] NWS-JAX Linkup (F-5) - (packet) Direct packet link to JAX. As a backup (in case the phone lines are down) for reporting official reports of severe weather related events to NWSO-JAX. [For purposes of avoiding unwanted attention, suggest use of Channel identifier rather than verbalizing actual frequencies used during times of actual operations. This is weather related stuff and there are going to be all sorts of `yahoos' and voyeurs of the `Twister' generation who are likely going to eavesdrop on our comms for info that would help them to chase, which would in all liklihood cause more confusion and interference than good if they got in anyone's way. And we wouldn't want that. -Todd] NOAA Weather Radio Frequencies: T1 Jacksonville, FL 162.550 MHz T2 Gainesville, FL 162.475 MHz T3 Waycross, GA 162.475 MHz T4 Baxley, GA 162.525 MHz T5 Ocala, FL 162.525 MHz
I. Spotter's Personal Checklist
Essentials:[ ] Maps: [ ] City, county and state road maps [ ] Site-specific sector/visibility maps [ ] Gridded area maps [ ] Hiker's compass, ruler, protractor, and drawing compass. (The hiker's compass would be used to find the actual bearing of the event that is occuring. The protractor would be used for finding the equivalent bearing angle on a map. The ruler would be used for drawing lines to/from you and the event, and to and from other spotters' locations and the event along the bearing angle(s) given and, thus, helping you in finding the exact position of the event. The drawing compass could also be used for drawing exact distance circles and thus helping you to better estimate and call a more exact distance measurement to the event from you or other notable landmarks.) [ ] Severe weather event report log and/or microcassette recorder (to dictate notes). (Its a good idea to in some way record/log your severe weather report on something permanent for later use if necessary. The NCS may request a clarification of a previous report you made, perhaps because in the hype of the actual event something was missed and he/she didn't have a chance to record everything. You may be out of range of a repeater for some time while severe weather events are occuring around you, and these records will allow you to recite everything you saw in detail later. Etc.) [ ] Pens, paper, and clipboard to write upon. [ ] Radio transceiver (amateur, GMRS/FRS, and/or CB) or cellular telephone. (If amateur radio, you should have both a mobile and an HT operable on 2-meters.) [ ] Scanner. [ ] Portable weather radio reciever. [ ] A pair of binoculars or a small spotting telescope. [ ] Personal identification. (Driver's license, Insurance card, and your Spotter ID Card; as well as your FCC license if a ham - you WILL be stopped and questioned by the authorities, on occasion. Its inevitable.) [ ] Vehicle placards. [ ] Flashlights with extra batteries and bulbs, a traffic wand and reflectors or flares. [ ] Lawn chair, folding seat, or blanket. [ ] Raincoat (brightly colored so you can be seen). [ ] Heavy waterproof boots, a change of clothes and extra shoes or boots. [ ] Food and drinks (non-alcoholic). (You may be asked to stay there a while.) [ ] Emergency supplies: [ ] Fire extinguisher [ ] First aid kit [ ] Miscellaneous items: [ ] spare fuses [ ] paper towels [ ] fly swatter [ ] insect repellant
Optionals:[ ] Portable wind speed/direction indicator, barometer, temperature gauge, psychrometer, and a rain gauge. [ ] Portable TV (for watching local news/RADAR). [ ] Video camera and/or photographic camera with extra tape, film, and batteries (fully charged). [ ] Laptop computer. Could be linked with cell-phone to receive weather data over the Internet, to work packet while mobile. [ ] Portable hazard strobe (orange). (Used strictly for hazard avoidance while off roadside. Does not make you an official emergency vehicle. Lets not get big heads.)
J. SPOTTER FIELD LOCATIONS AND SITE DESCRIPTIONSSPOTTER FIELD LOCATIONS AND SITE DESCRIPTIONS This page offers some comments on some sites seen about the county which might possibly make good locations for field spotters to try in observing severe weather. Comments from users about other sites are welcome and encouraged. If you are ever driving about the county and happen to notice a particular location which offers decent views of the sky (prefereably to as low on the horizon as possible), then please feel free to offer up your reviews to us. 1. City of Alachua, NW Alachua County: E-W along Penny Road. Various places offer low views to the north. 2. City of Alachua, NW Alachua County: Along NW 173 Street (CR-235), north of intersection of NW 173 Street and Penny Road. Various places offering low views to west, north, and east. One spot offers very low views of the horizon. 3. Across from Sabine, Inc., NW of Gainesville, NE Alachua County. Between Gainesville and Alachua, E-W along 441. Fields offer good views from E, to S, to W. Trees block views to north. 4. Paynes Prairie, South of Gainesville, southern Alachua County. Offers excellent all-around views of horizon. 5. Across from Mobile gas station, west of Gainesville. Near where SR-222 and I-75 intersect. Offers fair view of NW to NE. [More to be scouted and added yet] IMPORTANT NOTE: Any open location in a storm situation is dangerous, because you are usually the tallest object around, and lightning usually takes the shortest distance to the ground. When you are spotting in an open location during a storm, crouch down to be as low as possible and to make yourself as small a target as possible. Likewise, stay out of the way of traffic.
K. CITY LISTINGSCITIES OF ALACHUA AND SURROUNDING COUNTIES (County Seats indicated by an asterisk.) Alachua (Alachua) LaCrosse (Alachua) Anthony (Marion) Lake Butler * (Union) Archer (Alachua) Lake City * (Columbia) Bell (Gilchrist) Lake Como (Putnam) Belleview (Marion) Lake Geneva (Clay) Bostwick (Putnam) Lawtey (Bradford) Bronson * (Levy) Lebanon (Levy) Brooker (Bradford) Lochloosa (Alachua) Campville (Alachua) Lowell (Marion) Candler (Marion) Lynne (Marion) Cedar Key (Levy) Marion Oaks (Marion) Chiefland (Levy) Martel (Marion) Citra (Marion) McIntosh (Marion) Crescent City (Putnam) Melrose (Alachua) Cross Creek (Alachua) Micanopy (Alachua) Doctors Inlet (Clay) Middleburg (Clay) Dukes (Union) Mikesville (Columbia) Dunnellon (Marion) Montbrook (Levy) Earleton (Alachua) Morriston (Levy) Eastlake Weir (Marion) Moss Bluff (Marion) East Palatka (Putnam) Newberry (Alachua) Edgar (Putnam) New River (Bradford) Elizey (Levy) Ocala * (Marion) Eureka (Marion) Oklawaha (Marion) Evinston (Alachua) Orange Heights (Alachua) Fairbanks (Alachua) Orange Lake (Marion) Fairfield (Marion) Orange Mills (Putnam) Fanning Springs (Gilchrist) Orange Springs (Marion) Fellowship (Marion) Otter Creek (Levy) Flemington (Marion) Palatka * (Putnam) Florahome (Putnam) Penney Farms (Clay) Fort McCoy (Marion) Pomona Park (Putnam) Fort White (Columbia) Providence (Union) Fowler Bluff (Levy) Putnam Hall (Putnam) Gainesville * (Alachua) Raiford (Union) Graham (Bradford) Rainbow Lake Estates (Marion) Grandin (Putnam) Raleigh (Levy) Green Cove Springs * (Clay) Rochelle (Alachua) Grove Park (Alachua) Rosewood (Levy) Gulf Hammock (Levy) Russell (Clay) Hague (Alachua) Salt Springs (Marion) Hampton (Bradford) Sampson City (Bradford) Hawthorne (Alachua) San Mateo (Putnam) High Springs (Alachua) Santa Fe (Alachua) Hollister (Putnam) Santos (Marion) Inglis (Levy) Satsuma (Putnam) Interlachen (Putnam) Shady (Marion) Island Grove (Alachua) Silver Springs (Marion) Johnson (Putnam) Silver Springs Shores (Marion) Kendrik (Marion) Sparr (Marion) Keystone Heights (Clay) Starke * (Bradford) Summerfield (Marion) Sumner (Levy) Theressa (Bradford) Trenton * (Gilchrist) Waldo (Alachua) Wannee (Gilchrist) Watertown (Columbia) Weirsdale (Marion) Welaka (Putnam) Williston (Levy) Worthington Springs (Union) Yankeetown (Levy) Zuber (Marion)
SURROUNDING COUNTIES AND THIER CITIES (County Seats indicated by an asterisk.)
ALACHUA | BRADFORD | CLAY | COLUMBIA | GILCHRIST | LEVY | MARION | PUTNAM | UNIONAlachua County: Alachua Archer Campville Cross Creek Earleton Evinston Fairbanks Gainesville * Grove Park Hague Hawthorne High Springs Island Grove LaCrosse Lochloosa Melrose Micanopy Newberry Orange Heights Rochelle Santa Fe Waldo Bradford County: Brooker Graham Hampton Lawtey New River Sampson City Starke * Theressa Clay County: Doctors Inlet Green Cove Springs * Keystone Heights Lake Geneva Middleburg Penney Farms Russell Columbia County: Fort White Lake City * Mikesville Watertown Gilchrist County: Bell Fanning Springs Trenton * Wannee Levy County: Bronson * Cedar Key Chiefland Elizey Fowler Bluff Gulf Hammock Inglis Lebanon Montbrook Morriston Otter Creek Raleigh Rosewood Sumner Williston Yankeetown Marion County: Anthony Belleview Candler Citra Dunnellon Eastlake Weir Eureka Fairfield Fellowship Flemington Fort McCoy Kendrik Lowell Lynne Marion Oaks Martel McIntosh Moss Bluff Ocala * Oklawaha Orange Lake Orange Springs Rainbow Lake Estates Salt Springs Santos Shady Silver Springs Silver Springs Shores Sparr Summerfield Weirsdale Zuber Putnam County: Bostwick Crescent City East Palatka Edgar Florahome Grandin Hollister Interlachen Johnson Lake Como Orange Mills Palatka * Pomona Park Putnam Hall San Mateo Satsuma Welaka Union County: Dukes Lake Butler * Providence Raiford Worthington Springs
L. MAPSCITY OF GAINESVILLE [To be added]
COUNTY OF ALACHUA
SURROUNDING COUNTIES MAP
LOCAL REPEATER MAP
SPOTTER DEPLOYMENT AND SITE VISIBILITIES MAP [To be added]
NWS-JAX COUNTY WARNING AREA MAP
M. FormsNCS/SPOTTER SEVERE WEATHER EVENT REPORTING FORM ----------------------------------------------- S E V E R E W E A T H E R R E P O R T I N G F O R M +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | | | | | | | A violent, rotating column of air pendant | | | T O R N A D O | from a cumulonimbus cloud, and _touches_ | | | | the ground. | | | | | |-----+---------------------------+-------------------------------------------| | | | | | | | A violent, rotating column of air which | | | F U N N E L | _does not_ touch the ground and is usually| | | | pendant from a cumulonimbus cloud. | | | | | |-----+---------------------------+-------------------------------------------| | | | | | | | An isolated lowering of the thunderstorm | | | W A L L C L O U D | base -- possibly with signs of rotation. | | | | | | | | | |-----+---------------------------+-------------------------------------------| | | |SIZE | | | | | | | | Precipitation in form of balls of irreg. | | | H A I L | |INCH(ES)| lumps of ice produced by convective clouds| | | | |DIAMETER| and larger than roughly 1/4 inch. | | | | | | | |-----+---------------------------+-------------------------------------------| | | |MPH | |MEAS.| | | | | | | | A sudden brief increase in the speed of | | | WIND GUST | +--+ | the wind -- usually reported when over | | | | | |ESTD.| 18 MPH. | | | | | | | | |-----+---------------------------+-------------------------------------------| | | | | | | | Damage caused by straight-line winds, | | | WIND DAMAGE | particularly structural damage or to | | | | trees and/or utility poles. | | | | | |-----+---------------------------+-------------------------------------------| | | |AMOUNT|TIME| |MEAS.| | | | HEAVY| |PERD| | | Reducing visibility and causing ponding | | | | | +--+ | or flooding of road surfaces. | | | RAINS| | | |ESTD.| | | | | | | | | | |-----+---------------------------+-------------------------------------------| | | | | | | | Flood that rises and falls quite rapidly | | | FLASH FLOODING | with little or no advance warning usually | | | | as a result of intense rainfall. | | | | | |-----+---------------------------+-------------------------------------------| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ WAS SIGHTED OR OBSERVED BY - +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | | TRAINED SVR WEATHER SPOTTER | ORGANIZATION (LOCAL NET) | |--+ | | | | AMATEUR RADIO OP-NO TRAINING | | |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------| | | POLICE DEPEARTMENT PERSONNEL | AGENCY/DEPT | |--+ | | | | ESDA / C D PERSONNEL | | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ AND WAS LOCATED - +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | | | DIRECTION | | CROSS ROADS | | |MILES| |OF | | | | | | | AND | |----+-----+-------------------+---+------------------------------------------| | IN | COMMUNITY | | |TIME |AM |EST|DATE |UTC | | | |FL | AT | |---+---| | | |NEAR| | | | |PM |EDT| | Z| |----+------------------------------------------------------------------------| | MOVEMENT TOWARD | | | | | |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------| | REMARKS | | | | | |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------| | | | | | | |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------| | | | | | | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ TRANSMITTED TO - +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | | | | REGION | | TIME | AM |EST| DATE | BY | | | N W S | | | NCS | |----+---| | | | | | |RPTR NCS| | | PM |EDT| | | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ This form copied from page 157 of THE EMERGENCY COORDINATOR'S HANDBOOK, 1985, published by The American Radio Relay League.
NCS CHECK-IN AND EVENTS REPORT LOG: NCS CHECK-IN AND EVENTS REPORT LOG Page __ of __ Date: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Called in?| | |Time |Time | | (Time) | Callsign | Name |In |Out |Location |Comments ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------+----------+------------+------+------+------------+-------------- | | | | | | | | | | | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
N. Useful Charts:WIND STRENGTH CHART: ------------------- +------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | |Wind in| |Weather Fore-| |Reporting Terms| M.P.H.| Specifications for Use on Land |cast Terms | |_______________|_______| ______________________________ |_____________| +---------------+-------+----------------------------------+-------------+ | | | | | |Calm |Under 1|Smoke rises vertically | Light | | | | | | | | | | | |Light Air | 1 - 3 |Direction of wind shown by smoke | Light | | | |drift, but not by wind vanes | | | | | | | |Slight Breeze | 4 - 7 |Wind felt on face; leaves rustle; | Light | | | |ordinary vane movement | | | | | | | |Gentle Breeze | 8 - 12|Leaves & small twigs in constant | Gentle | | | |motion; light flags extended | | | | | | | |Moderate Breeze|13 - 18|Raises dust & loose paper; small | Moderate | | | |branches move | | | | | | | |Fresh Breeze |19 - 24|Sm. trees in leaf begin to sway; | Fresh | | | |crested wavelets on inland water | | | | | | | |Strong Breeze |25 - 31|Large branches in motion; whis- | Strong | | | |tling heard in telephone wires | | | | | | | |High Breeze |32 - 38|Whole trees in motion; inconve- | Strong | | | |nience in walking against wind | | | | | | | |Gale |39 - 46|Breaks twigs off trees; general- | Gale | | | |ly impedes progress | | | | | | | |Strong Gale |47 - 54|Slight structural damage occurs | Whole Gale | | | | | | | | | | | |Whole Gale |55 - 63|Seldomly experienced inland, trees| Whole Gale | | | |uprooted; much damage occurs | | | | | | | |Storm |64 - 75|Very rarely experienced; accompa- | Whole Gale | | | |nied by widespread damage | | | | | | | |Hurricane | 75+ | | Hurricane | | | | | | +------------------------------------------------------------------------+
BEAUFORT SCALE OF WIND VELOCITY: ------------------------------- Use these standard criteria for more accurate wind reports to the National Weather service. The scale was devised in 1805 by English Rear Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort (pronounced `BO-fert'). It has often been revised and updated. NOTE: Observations should be made as far away as possible from structures and trees, which create false wind estimates. A pocket compass helps to determine wind direction accurately. Distribute this scale freely to Packet BBSs and at club meetings and ARES and SKYWARN training sessions. Keep one copy in your car and another at your operating desk. - W4MLE *********************************************************** MPH: less than 1 KTS: less than 1 ("Dead calm") EFFECTS: Smoke rises vertically. Pennants hang limp and motionless. Sea is mirror flat. *********************************************************** MPH: 1-3 KTS: 1-3 EFFECTS: Direction of wind shown by smoke drift. Flags and pennants hang limp or barely move. Ripples at sea, with appearance of scales, without foam crests. *********************************************************** MPH: 4-7 KTS: 4-6 EFFECTS: Wind felt on face; leaves rustle. Pennants stir slightly; flags may move slightly. At sea, small wavelets, short but pronounced; crests appear glassy and don't break. *********************************************************** MPH: 8-12 KTS: 7-10 EFFECTS: Leaves and small twigs in constant motion. Flags flap partly extended. At sea, large wavelets with crests beginning to break; foam appears glassy. Maybe some scattered foam crests. *********************************************************** MPH: 13-18 KTS: 11-16 EFFECTS: Tree-tops sway and small branches flutter constantly; Dust, dead leaves and loose paper are blown about. Flags flutter but are not fully extended. Small pennants are fully extended. At sea, small waves, becoming longer; fairly frequent white caps. *********************************************************** MPH: 19-24 KTS: 17-21 EFFECTS: Small trees sway and bend slightly; flags snap noisily. Traffic lights sway and dance on their suspensions. Whitecaps on inland water. At sea, moderate waves of a distinct long form; many white caps. Maybe some spray. ********************************************************** MPH: 25-31 KTS: 22-27 EFFECTS: Large branches sway; Flags snap and pop noisily and stand straight out from the mast, indicating wind direction. Traffic lights dance on their suspension cables. At sea, large waves begin to form; white foam crests more extensive everywhere; probably some spray. ********************************************************** MPH: 32-38 KTS: 28-33 EFFECTS: Whole trees sway; difficult to walk against the wind. Lawn furniture and loose light objects may be overturned or blown around. Dead limbs fall from trees. Traffic lights dance vigorously on suspension cables. Metal traffic signs sway rhythmically from side to side. Sea heaps up; white foam from breaking waves blows in streaks along the direction of the wind. *********************************************************** MPH: 39-46 KTS: 34-40 EFFECTS: Twigs and small limbs break off of trees. Suspended traffic lights dance vigorously and sometimes fall. Lawn and deck furniture, advertising signs, tree limbs and sometimes trees may be blown down, blocking streets or highways. Driving is very hazardous. At sea moderately high waves. Edges of crests begin to break into spindrift. Streaks of foam blow down-wind. GALE WARNINGS MAY BE ISSUED BY WEATHER SERVICE *********************************************************** MPH: 47-54 KTS: 41-47 EFFECTS: Slight damage to buildings; shingles are loosened or tear free. Trees in exposed places may be uprooted, or limbs may break off. Exposed objects may be blown about, striking other objects or blocking streets. Drive with extreme caution, if at all. High waves at sea. Dense streaks of foam along direction of wind. Spray may affect visibility. GALE WARNINGS IN EFFECT *********************************************************** MPH: 55-63 KTS: 48-55 EFFECTS: Large trees are uprooted; considerable damage to buildings. Visibility reduced by spray. Drive only if absolutely necessary. Get away from the coast and seek shelter inland and out of wind. At sea, very high waves with long overhanging crests; great patches of foam blown in dense white streaks along direction of wind. Sea surface takes on a white appearance. GALE WARNINGS IN EFFECT. STORM WARNINGS MAY BE ISSUED. ************************************************************ MPH: 64-72 KTS: 56-63 EFFECTS: Widespread damage on land. Wind-driven advertising signs, lawn and deck furniture begin to fly through the air. At sea, exceptionally high waves completely covered with long white patches of foam lying along direction of wind; edges of wave crests blown into froth. Visibility at sea greatly reduced. HURRICANE WARNINGS IN EFFECT. AVOID COASTAL AREAS. SEEK SHELTER. *********************************************************** NOTE: Updated and re-calibrated September 1994 George Thurston W4MLE, Tallahassee FL COMPUSERVE: 72417,2466 - INTERNET: email@example.com
FUJITA SCALE FOR TORNADOS: ------------------------- Scale Number Wind Speed (mph/[kph]) Damage Type _____________________________________________________ F0 40- 73 [ 64-117] Light F1 74-112 [118-180] Moderate F2 113-157 [181-251] Considerable F3 158-206 [252-330] Severe F4 207-260 [331-417] Devastating F5 more than 261  Incredible
SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE: ----------------------------------- Wind Storm Press. Speed Surge Cat. (hps) (mph) (ft) Damage Type and Description _______________________________________________________________________ 1 980+ 74- 95 4- 5 MINIMAL - Damage primarily to shrubbery, trees, foilage, and unanchored mobile homes. No real damage to other structures. Some damage to poorly constructed signs. And/or: Low-lying coastal roads inundated in storm surge, minor pier damage, some small craft in exposed anchorage torn from moorings. 2 965-980 96-110 6- 8 MODERATE - Considerable damage to shrubbery and tree foilage; some trees blown down. Major damage to roofing materials of buildings; some window and door damage. No major damage to buildings. And/or: Coastal roads and low-lying escape routes inland cut off by rising water 2 to 4 hours before arrival of hurricane center. Considerable damage ro piers; Marinas flooded. Small craft in unprotected anchorages torn from moorings. Evacuation of some shoreline residences and low-lying island areas required. 3 945-964 111-130 9-12 EXTENSIVE - Foilage torn from trees; large trees blown down. Practically all poorly constructed signs blown down. Some damage to roofing materials of buildings. Mobile homes destroyed. And/or: Serious flooding at coast and many smaller structures near coast destroyed; larger structures near coast damaged by battering waves and floating debris. Low-lying escape routes inland cut off by rising water 3 to 5 hours before hurricane center arrives. Flat terrain 5 feet or less above sea level flooded inland 8 miles or more. Evacuation of low-lying residences within several blocks of shoreline possibly required. 4 920-944 131-155 13-18 EXTREME - Shrubs and trees blown down; all signs blown down. Extensive damage to roofing materials, windows and doors. Complete failure of roofs on many small residences. Complete destruction of mobile homes. And/or: Flat terrain 10 feet or less above sea level flooded inland as far as 6 miles. Major damage to lower debris. Low-lying escape routes inland cut off by rising water 3 to 5 hours before hurricane center arrives. Major erosion of beaches. Massive evacuation of residences within 500 yards of shore possibly required, and of single-story residences on low-ground within 2 miles of shore. 5 -920 155+ 18+ CATASTROPHIC - Shrubs and trees blown down; considerable damage to roofs of buildings; all signs down. Very severe and extensive damage to windows and doors. Complete failure of roofs on many residences and industrial buildings. Extensive shattering of glass in windows and doors. Some complete building failures. Small buildings overturned or blown away. Complete destruction of mobile homes. And/or: Low-lying escape routes inland cut off by rising water 3 to 5 hours before hurricane center arrives. Massive evacuation of residential area on low ground within 5 to 10 miles of shore possibly required.
HAIL SIZE ESTIMATE COMPARISON CHART: Pea...................0.25 inches Golfball...............1.75 inches Penny.................0.75 inches Tennis ball............2.50 inches Quarter...............1.00 inches Baseball...............2.75 inches Half Dollar...........1.25 inches Grapefruit.............4.00 inches (Borrowed from the NOAA/NWS publication, ADVANCED SPOTTER'S FIELD GUIDE.)
O. SOME RELATED BOOKS AND OTHER MATERIALSSOME RELATED BOOKS AND OTHER MATERIALS Book: CLOUDS AND STORMS - National Audubon Society Pocket Guide - Some great photographic plates. Details the various types of clouds. (Available at Alachua County Library.) Book: FIELD GUIDE TO NORTH AMERICAN WEATHER - National Audubon Soc. - Again, some great photographics plates -- but watch out for plate descriptions as they sometimes appear to be either vague, possibly mislabeled, or in some cases even incorrect. Still, great examples. (Avail. at Alachua County Library.) Book: FLORIDA WEATHER - Morton D. Winsberg; Univ. of Central Fla. Press, Orlando; 1990; Ref-Fla/551.6975/Win; 171 pp., Ill. (Available at Alachua County Library.) Book: SEVERE LOCAL STORMS FORECASTING PRIMER - John Sturtevant - Ever wanted to know how to do some of your own local severe weather forecasting? This book will show you how. Expect to be sitting down for some time learning this, though. You won't learn it all in one day. And there appear to be a number of typos in this textbook, and some missing text, requiring getting with the author for some fill-ins and clarifications. (Available by Inter-Library Loan from Alachua Co. Library.) Book: SKYWATCH EAST - (Available at Alachua County Library.) Book: THE CLIMATE AND WEATHER OF FLORIDA - James A. Henry & Kenneth M. Portier; Pineapple Press, Sarasota; 1994; 551.6975/Hen; 279 pp., Ill. (Available at Alachua County Library.) Paper: GETTING READY TO SPOT SEVERE STORMS - A FIELD GUIDE, Chris Novy, Emergency Management Svcs., Carbondale, IL and Greg Stumpf, NSL-Norman, OK. (See A.C. SKYWARN Coordinator for copies, or contact Chris Novy himeslf at his e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.) Video: StormWatch - TESSA/NWS SKYWARN, $20.00 U.S. ppd. Official NWS spotter training video. (Available for purchase from The Storm Shop online at http://www.thestormshop.com/.) Video: StormWatcher - Gene Rhoden, $30.00 U.S. ppd. (Available for purchase from The Storm Shop online at http://www.thestormshop.com/.) WWW: A COMPREHENSIVE GLOSSARY OF SEVERE WEATHER TERMS FOR STORM SPOTTERS - NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS SR-145, Michael Branick, NOAA/NWSFO Norman, OK. (Available online at http://www.nssl.uoknor.edu/~nws/branick2.html.) WWW: For many other related links on the Internet World Wide Web, see our links off of the Alachua County SKYWARN Web Page at `http://www.afn.org/~skywarn/'.
P. SKYWARN-RELATED PRODUCTS MANUFACTURERS(Info here was found in the National SKYWARN Mailing List, and in various places on the web. -Todd) o Caps Unlimited - Decal, magnetic sign, license plate frame. (972) 276-0413. o Chisago County (MN) ARES
Sells ARES-related items. o Colorado SKYWARN Merchandise
In Denver. Patches, Decals, Hats, Mugs, License Plate Frames, T-shirts, Tie Tacks, etc. Proceeds go to thier SKYWARN Equipment Fund. o Lincoln, NE ARC
Has some nice Skywarn magnetic signs (9"x12"?). The cost is $7.50 each plus $2.50 S&H (S&H will cover 2 signs). They also sell golf caps with SKYWARN logo emblazened upon the front. The Club address is: Lincoln ARC, PO Box 5006, Lincoln NE 68505. E-mail address: 74726.2031@CompuServe.COM. o Midlands ARES/SKYWARN Merchandise
The Midlands ARES of Douglas County has many items for sale. Reflective SKYWARN magnetic signs, patches, ARES signs, etc. All procedes go to Midlands ARES for equipment for the stations at the National Weather Service Douglas County EOC and the Heartland Chapter of the Red Cross. o REACT-SKYWARN Magnetic Signs
Orlando Metro REACT-SKYWARN #4778, John Knott, President - Highly reflective, magnetic signs which display both the REACT and SKYWARN logos. o The Spotter's Shop - Chicago Area SKYWARN/N9NPP
ARES or SKYWARN T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, hats/caps, patches, keytags, coffee mugs, stickers, bumper magnets, spotter ID cards, customized items. Many items can be personalized. o The Storm Shop - Sam Barricklow/K5KJ
Sells videos, manuals, books, photographs, and more. o The StormTrack Marketplace
Sells books, photos, posters, etc. o The SignMan of Baton Rouge
Sells pretty much everything except shirts and caps. Sells magnetic signs, decals, rubber stamps, mugs, QSL cards, etc.
Q. REVISION HISTORY28 DEC 00 Added link to Caps Unlimited in SKYWARN-RELATED PRODUCTS AND MANUFACTURERS. 04 JUN 00 In TEXT and HTML versions of this Manual: Formatted APPENDIX K. CITY LISTINGS into two columns. 02 JUN 00 In TEXT and HTML versions of this Manual: Removed Section A in the Appendix (BLOCK DIAGRAM OF ALACHUA COUNTY SKYWARN) until I can get around to creating a chart. Need to find a good graphics program that can do that nicely. Removed Section D in the Appendix (SPOTTER CALL-UP NETWORK - TELEPHONE TREE). Too time consuming for use during severe weather events - which often come suddenly and then disappear just as quickly. As well, as soon as one person in the list is not available, the rest of the tree collapses and fails, since the person calling now has to throw away the whole list and pull out the personal phone book and start all over again. So this particular type of alerting method would not work very well. Idea scrapped. (Most members now have Internet access with e-mail capability and this can be taken care of with one e-mail BCC'd to everyone at once. Will likely replace this section with one detailing how to do just that.) 01 JUN 00 In TEXT and HTML versions of this Manual: Removed "fair-sky" background in the HTML version. Realized that the background would only waste toner ink when manual is printed. Updated SPOTTER ROSTER, showing a total of about 120 members, now. Added LOCAL REPEATER LOCATION MAP, and removed reference to the REPEATER RANGE MAP, since developing a map with any idea of real range at this point is impossible without specialized equipment. Added NWS-JAX COUNTY WARNING AREA MAP, borrowed from the NWS-JAX Home Page on the web. 31 MAY 00 In TEXT and HTML versions of this Manual: Updated NCS CHECK-IN AND BATTLE RECORD and changed name to NCS CHECK-IN AND EVENT REPORTS LOG, consolidating the purposes of both forms into one single sheet of paper. Removed old NCS EVENT REPORT LOG, being redundant and unneccessary. (See above paragraph.) Updated book entry for SEVERE LOCAL STORMS FORECASTING in the section on SOME RELATED BOOKS AND OTHER MATERIALS, by adding the author's name - John Sturtevant. Updated old URL references to THE STORM SHOP in the sections on SOME RELATED BOOKS AND OTHER MATERIALS, and in SKYWARN-RELATED PRODUCTS MANUFACTURERS. Added more contacts to the section SKYWARN-RELATED PRODUCTS AND MANUFACTURERS. 22 FEB 98- 17 Mar 98 CONSTANT upgrades to this Manual. Its never worded right. It doesn't look quite right. No, that doesn't look right, either. Need a cigarette. Need more Pepsi. I'll die of lung cancer before I feel satisfied. You know the drill. 22 FEB 98 Imported WP60 version of this document into WP61 for Windows. Then exported to Word document. 21 FEB 98 Added SKYWARN Call-Up List, Spotter Phone Book, and Spotter Field Location List and Site Review to APPENDICES, and reordered various APPENDICES and all internal references to APPENDICES, and of course the CONTENTS page. 10 FEB 98 Created this WordPerfect v6.0 version of the SOP Manual. Attempts to save/export this to working MS-Word documents failed miserably for some reason. WP just doesn't do it right, or MS-Word isn't interpreting WP's codes correctly. 08 FEB 98 Added a lot of stuff to APPENDICES, and made some minor changes in the contents of the Manual. 02 FEB 98 Removed Chapter 9 - Key Stations, and Appendix A - Key Stations, and all other references to them, since we really won't be functioning using designated key stations anyway. (Also obviously reordered and renumbered everything accordingly.) 31 JAN 98 Reformatted margins of the SOP Manual to better fit in Netscape. 30 JAN 98 Combined Standard Operating Procedures Manual and Emergency Plan into one document - since we really have no need for an Emergency Plan anyway, and called this new document the Standard Operating Procedures Manual. 21 JAN 98 At the Planning Meeting, handed out copies of the Emergency Plan and SOP Manual to everyone present, with intentions that everyone should go over it with a pen and make thier own additions, removals, and suggestions for changes to be reviewed at the next Planning Meeting. 20 JAN 98 Added pointer to a preliminary SKYWARN Emergency Plan for use in being hacked and slashed, corrected, added to, and modified as required at tomorrow night's Planning Meeting.
R. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThese are people who have contributed either directly or indirectly to the creation of this Manual. To exclude them from mentioning would not be fair. And also to show our gratitude. The American Radio Relay League - For producing a manual such like THE EMERGENCY COORDINATOR'S HANDBOOK, which was a great help in sorting out and putting into words that which is now this Manual. We used thier Emergency Plan and Standard Operating Procedures examples as a starting `template' for our own. Without those, we'd have been scratching our heads for quite a while about how to begin, to be honest. Fred Johnson/KF4LIY, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, NWS-Jax - For taking the time to come all the way down here to Gainesville to teach the BASIC and ADVANCED Spotter Training Classes to those of us here in Alachua County. Kevin Heyboer/KD4UYR, Pinellas Co. SKYWARN Coordinator - For his opinions and guidance, and for always answering my questions - no matter how silly I thought they might be at the time. Craig Setzer, WFLA-TV Ch. 8 Meteorologist, Tampa/St. Pete - For always answering my questions - and promptly, too! - for listening, for his help and opinions, and for taking what was a simple en-passant mentioning of what was just a wishful idea and making it an actual reality without even having to be asked to do it. [He knows what I'm talking about.] Thanks, Craig! It helps us a lot up here! Steve Abrams - Alachua Co. Office of Emergency Management - For advice on how to properly integrate our services with them. The many in the National SKYWARN Mailing List who listened and whose offered advice and opinions did indeed help. Alachua County FreeNet - For providing us with our own SKYWARN account at no charge, which allows us to send and recieve e-mail, and to put up a web-page to help make ourselves better known. The people who run the U/F Listserver, who allowed us to create the SKYWARN-L Discussion List, allowing local users to have a forum for back and forth about local SKYWARN-related matters. And to the following few important people who thought this was a good idea and for thier outstanding help and determination in making it a reality, for helping to make it happen, and in getting things moving. These guys will end up being on the Lead Team. In alphabetical order: o Paul Bennett/N4EGO - Lightning-quick at getting the nets up at the first call-out. No visible fear in this guy when the time comes. Should have been a Marine. o Jeff Capehart/W4UFL - A good Right-Hand Man. There all the time and makes it happen often quite to your surprise. o Jim Carr/KC4MHH (and ACFR) - Thanks for the use of the ACFR HQ Bldg. to hold our always last-minute, impromptu meetings. o Michael Robinette/KE4UVQ - Always anxious to get involved.
S. THINGS TO BE ADDED OR WORKED ON(in no particular order): [ ] Find improved City Map. Add it to this Manual. [ ] Find good county map to use for County Map, Repeater Map, Spotter Deployment/Site Visibilities Map. Add them to this Manual. [ ] Need to send people out about the county on a nice day to scout more field locations, have them take notes on each site (location/address, directions of unobstructed visibility), and have them report their findings back to me for inclusion in the deployment map in this Manual. [ ] Define more clearly the spotter's responsibilities. Reiterate `no chasing.' [ ] Make sure all spotters are clear that spotting is inherently dangerous, that though all possible safety precautions may be taken, things can still happen to a spotter. That it should not be volunteered for without their awareness of this fact. As well, spotters should never put themselves in the way of danger; rather, they should take steps to stay out of the way of storms. (Spot them as they approach but once within a certain range in miles of a spotter, the spotter should be removed to fall back to a more distant and safer location. NCS should always be advised of spotter's current location. No unauthorized excursions. Spotters should sign form showing they understand and agree. No spotting without signed form. [ ] To that end, add section on `Spotting Safety.' [ ] Create Telephone Tree alert list. [ ] Create pager alert list. Decide how to handle varying types of pagers and services of spotter members. [ ] Getting to be so much info now in Chapters 8 and 9 that thinking of sorting these further into `NCS Guidelines' and `Spotter Guidelines.' [ ] (The distributed version of this Manual definitely needs tabbed dividers for quick and easy access, I've found! Quick-printed draft version was hectic to sort through without them in the rush of an actual net. [Sigh. That's part of how yuh learn, through the `hands-on.']) [ ] Define regular date and time, and place, for a monthly SKYWARN Meeting. Have all spotters attend. Maybe talk about things learned over past month, and suggest changes, if necessary, to Procedures/Manual. Chance for admin/spotter back-and-forth. Invite guest speakers such as, if possible, TV-20 Meteorologist, Martin Uman (U/F), Met. from NWS-Jax, friends on National SKYWARN List, maybe. (Craig Setzer? Jim Leonard? Steve Hodanish? Etc. Will have to arrange they come during a trip they are already planning to the area so that they are not asked to drive hundreds of miles just to give a talk and go home. Eaier said, than done. Find out what they are more knowledgable about and design a presentation around that.) [ ] Make it clearer that NCS may call up Spotter Net at any time that it seems prudent without prior permission of Coordinator or Asst. Coordinator, provided that the latter two are advised immediately after of the initiation of net. (This to eliminate any red-tape- caused delay in the initiation of net.) [ ] ? _____________________________________________________________________ Last updated: December 28, 2000. Mail to: Alachua County SKYWARN (email@example.com) (C) Copyright 1998-2000 by Alachua County SKYWARN. All Rights Reserved.
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