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NWS SkyWarn Recognition Day

Greg Higgins

Every December for the past 10 years (it began in 1999), the NWS has sponsored SkyWarn Recognition Day. Our local office (Fort Worth) will once again participate and we are looking for ideas. What has your local NWS office done during the event? Tours, classes, presentations, food, operate the radio equipment, PR??? Any comments appreciated!!

Greg Higgins
The northern Indiana national weather services has always ran HF radios, I think this year I am going to try and help get Echolink going for the event, I still have to get through some loop holes, but ther than that, I think it will be fun.
Central IL (ILX) participates with at least 2 HF stations, VHF and echolink. Food is usually abundant for those who operate and help set up/tear down. :)

I helped operate/set up last year, and look forward to doing it again this year. Hopefully the wx will be nicer than the last couple years (ice storm and snow storms).
i went to the ILX rec day last year for a couple and then headed to Joliet/Romeoville office LOT. Both were really nice and I had a great time.
I participated last year at DTX and even developed a Ruby on Rails application to help with our logging. It supports all modes, including echolink, and generally worked out pretty well. If enough offices, or those who participate, show interest, I can host it up more centrally and put in a login system for greater use. If you'd like to run it locally or privately, get with me and I can get you the source code.

I plan again to be there and operate as late as I can handle. I think last I went from about 10pm till 8am despite the spit-freezing cold.
At the Goodland WFO (home of Skywarn Recognition day thanks to the event's founder, GLD MIC Scott Mentzer) HF and 2-m are used, plus Echolink and IRLP along with Winlink for email contacts. The digital side of HAM has been very popular with this event the past two to three years. WXTALK is standing room only for contacts through Echolink and/or IRLP. Fun stuff.

SRD 2008

National link:


December 6th, 2008 is the official date since it wasn't posted before. (Thanks for the correction Lou).

I have considered doing a special event station from NWS HQ here in Silver Spring, MD (right next to the DC line). Usually the local NWS WFO gets all the attention way out in Sterling, Virginia (LWX).
Last edited by a moderator:
National link:


December 8th, 2008 is the official date since it wasn't posted before.

I have considered doing a special event station from NWS HQ here in Silver Spring, MD (right next to the DC line). Usually the local NWS WFO gets all the attention way out in Sterling, Virginia (LWX).

Actually, it's December 6, 2008 00Z for 24 hours (December 5 1900ET/1800CT to December 6 1900ET/1800CT in the US). It is typically the Saturday after Thanksgiving Weekend (so, in the US, it starts a week after "black Friday")
MPX usually uses the event to show appreciation to the operators who volunteer throughout the year at the office and also to talk on a more casual basis with spotter groups around the CWA. We also work with the local boy scout amateur radio group to bring in HF where we do regular voice, SSB, USB, PSK31, and CW. We also are on Echolink as well as the FM repeaters as mentioned. We've also taken that as a time to test communications with surrounding offices and to do other radio tests as well.
I plan to be at (FWD) Fort Worth, Texas, hopefully for the majority of the day on Saturday the 6th. They have an IRLP node connected to a repeater on top of the building. It is node 3747, callsign K5MOT.

I also have heard from (AKQ) Wakefield, Va's SKYWARN coordinator and they will be there as well.

Last time I was there I got to stand in the freezing cold and observe the weather balloon launch...very worth it. Doesn't sound very exciting, but I think I am in good company here in finding those things interesting!
Our IRLP and EchoLink equipment maybe co-located at the NWS office but the antennas, etc are located elsewhere! Have you RSVP'ed?? See http://www.wx5fwd.org/ and pass it on to any others that may be interested. Looking forward to meeting you there.

Greg Higgins
Hi Greg,

Interesting. Were the antennas ever installed there? I remember (I think) being able to hit that machine with a HT on super low power without a problem while there.

I'm not sure if I am interested in an operating time yet, partially because I don't know what time I will actually get there (I have to possibly help out with communications at a parade in Rockwall that morning for 2 hours). Previously, I was in charge of the night shift for SRD (in 2003) when KR1ZAN was the coordinator. I think David took over the year after.

Also, is David Darrow's Eagle Scout project still there? (dipole with TS-440) He came out of my unit, Venturing Crew 73, (I was an associate advisor at the time) in 2004 when he graduated high school.
Yes the TS-440 is still there and works very well! We used it quite a bit during Gustav and Ike to keep in touch with the hurricane net and the NWSO along the coast. The dipole died out several years ago and was replaced this past spring.

Greg Higgins
Hey everyone, just wanted to say I had a LOT of fun yesterday with the gang from Ft. Worth. I met a ton of good people, saw some people I already know, and played on the radio for a while.

Thanks for making the event very enjoyable and I hope to see everyone again next year, if not sooner :D
Tyler Costantini and I went to the SGF office, it was the first for me and a lot of fun. You can check out the pics here.