Tim Watson, KB1HNZ, writes:
Introducing the NWS Gray SKYWARN Official Supporter Program
During our presentation for the Maine Virtual Hamfest last month, we mentioned the creation of a new program to encourage greater participation in SKYWARN. I’d like to personally invite your organization to consider becoming an Official Supporter of the NWS Gray SKYWARN Amateur Radio Team.
Due to the enormous size of the Weather Forecast Area that NWS Gray is responsible for, which includes most of western and southern Maine and the entire state of New Hampshire, the task of covering it for SKYWARN is challenging. The only way we can effectively cover all of it is to lean on the support of local nets spread out across the entire area. That’s where the Official Supporter program comes in.
Many hams are naturally weather enthusiasts and you may already know a few who are, but an interest in weather isn’t necessary to take part. When hams put their radio skills to use by volunteering as a SKYWARN radio operator, they practice one of the most important ways they can apply those communications skills. SKYWARN traffic occurs real time, during ongoing weather events, and forecasters use the information exchanged to create, update, and validate warnings, which can save lives.
Being part of the NWS Gray SKYWARN Amateur Radio Team is a meaningful way to experience the hobby while making a positive impact on our community.
As an Official Supporter, we recognize that your organization will embrace SKYWARN as a way to enhance the amateur radio experience, use it as a real-time training and preparedness tool to sharpen Emergency Communications skills, and to provide a vital service.
Here’s how you can help:
Criteria to earn Official Supporter status:
- Commit at least one (1) liaison to SKYWARN, and one (1) local Net Control operator (this can be the same person or different people within your organization.
- Activate local nets as needed or as requested by NWS throughout the year.
- Participate in regional drills and exercises throughout the year.
- Maintain a list of trained SKYWARN Spotter ham radio operators within your organization.
- Assist in hosting SKYWARN Spotter training in your area.
- Actively support and promote the SKYWARN program within your organization and community.
What you’ll receive:
- Guidance from NWS Gray SKYWARN leadership and support materials.
- Access to the SKYWARN net reporting form.
- Certificates and recognition for your team’s efforts throughout the year.
- Official SKYWARN swag.
- A special logo representing your team’s status as an Official NWS Gray SKYWARN Supporter.
- Your organization will be listed on the NWS Gray SKYWARN website and in future press releases as an Official Supporter.