In the event of severe weather, Operation Skywarn will be activated. Skywarn is a plan sponsored by the National Weather Service for reporting destructive storms or other severe, unusual or abnormal weather conditions. When amateurs are aware of imminent or possible severe weather they are asked to monitor the primary Skywarn operating frequency. The weather net will be called by the R.A.C.E.S. Officer, Emergency coordinator or Assistant Emergency Coordinator. The net control will make the decision to call out the spotters.


There are three levels of alert that may be activated.


  1. Non-Alert Readiness The R.A.C.E.S. Officer, Emergency coordinator, or any of the Assistant Emergency Coordinators based on his or her judgment, may inform stations via the Skywarn frequency that a severe weather condition may soon develop. This alert should only be given as an informal advisory, not a request to clear the frequency.
  2. Standby Alert This alert is sounded only by the R.A.C.E.S. Officer, Emergency Coordinator or assistant Emergency Coordinator or a net control specifically designated to issue the alert. This action is taken when the National Weather Service has requested the establishment of an Operation Skywarn Watch net. The call-up will be issued over the primary Skywarn frequency.
  3. Emergency Alert This alert is issued by the R.A.C.E.S. Officer, Emergency Coordinator, assistant Emergency Coordinator or designated net control.  Generally, the National Weather Service will request the activation of this net and where to expect the weather to come from, the locations that they would like information; however, the net may be established at the direction of the Emergency Management Agency, Emergency Coordinator or Assistant Emergency Coordinator. A directed net will be established on the primary Skywarn frequency. Participating stations will be requested to check in with the net control stating whether they are based or mobile. Spotter locations will be determined by net control based on expected direction and location of the approaching weather condition.


The net control station will attempt to establish liaison with the National Weather Service via the 146.700 repeater (Indianapolis) or, may delegate the responsibility to another Skywarn member. If the conditions are such that radio communications are not possible to the NWS, then liaison should be made via whatever means available (telephone, packet, or local authorities).


If you are asked to go to a spotter location remember, SAFETY FIRST. Be sure that there is no danger to you; stay away from power lines and trees and park as far off the road way as possible.