Category Archives: Weather

Tune in to Skywarn nets in 50 states when severe weather threatens

Putting together a Twitter list and a set of Broadcastify radio feeds for Skywarn networks. I’ll only be adding these when I have confirmed to listen to traffic. There are also Skywarn twitter lists from KE4KMD that were used to compile this, and a national skywarn.org that has a national directory.

The Index to SKYWARN Web Pages on the Internet is from Todd L. Sherman KB4MHH and has been updated since 1996; it is an excellent reference. SKYWARN Storm Spotters from David Drummond is another national list.

For an account of the use of Twitter for SKYWARN activities, read #tSpotter: SKYWARN in the Social Media Age, a paper presented to the American Metorological Society in 2013.

So far I have details for 29 of 50 states compiled here as of April 5, 2014.

Alabama

Severe weather: #alwx. Mobile area: #mobwx

Alabama Skywarn Foundation has statewide connections.

Alabama severe weather frequencies, Radio Reference.

Skywarn North Alabama / Southern Middle Tennessee (WX4HUN) supports NWS Huntsville, Alabama. Twitter: @WX4HUN_Skywarn, @Activation_HUN. Hashtag #HUNwx. Listen on Broadcastify, N4IDX 146.960.

ALERT (Alabama Emergency Response Team) supports NWS Birmingham. Twitter: @k4nws.

East Alabama Skywarn serves Lee County and surrounding counties.

Central Alabama Skywarn serves the Montgomery area. W4AP 146.840 repeater, training net Thursdays 7:00 p.m. CT.

Alaska

Severe weather: #akwx

National Weather Service on Twitter: @NWSJuneau, @NWSAnchorage, @NWSFairbanks.

Arctic Amateur Radio Club, KL4KC.

NWS Fairbanks ham radio Skywarn station, KL7FWX.

Arizona

Severe weather: #azwx

Skywarn Arizona Sector 1 covers the Tucson area and is particularly active during monsoon season.

Maricopa Amateur Radio Association covers the Phoenix area.

Arkansas

Severe weather: #arwx

Arkansas Skywarn, and a Twitter feed @arkskywarn.

CAREN, Central Arkansas Radio Emergency Net via Broadcastify. Little Rock area, monitored April 4, 2014.

W5RHS SKYWARN Repeater 147.120 Mhz via Broadcastify. West of Benton Arkansas, Saline County, linked to other Arkansas Skywarn nets.

California

Severe weather: #cawx

Southwest California Skywarn serves the NWS San Diego office. Facebook: San Diego County Skywarn. Twitter: @SnDgCo_Skywarn.

Colorado

Severe weather: #cowx

Eastern Colorado Severe Weather Frequencies from W9TEC, last updated 1/2010.

Connecticut

Severe weather: #ctwx

Connecticut Skywarn has maps of frequencies in use and reporting areas.

Delaware

Severe weather: #dewx

District of Columbia

Severe weather: #dcwx

National Capital Area Skywarn Support Group covers the Baltimore/Washington metro area. WX4LWX frequency plan.

Florida

Severe weather: #flwx

Flagler Skywarn, Jacksonville area.

Georgia

Severe weather: #gawx

Hawaii

Severe weather: #hiwx

Idaho

Severe weather: #idwx

Illinois

Severe weather: #ilwx

Chicagoland Skywarn covers the greater Chicago area. (Broadcastify feed is down).

Northern Illinois Skywarn covers Boone and Winnebago counties.

Lake County Skywarn serves Libertyville, IL. The repeater for Skywarn is run by Lake County RACES/ARES.

Indiana

Severe weather: #inwx

Central Indiana Skywarn Repeater Net W9ICE via Broadcastify. 39 county system.
Central Indiana Skywarn web site. Indianapolis area, serves NWS Indianapolis.

Fort Wayne Radio Club SKYWARN is part of IMO Skywarn. IMO (“Indiana-Michigan-Ohio”) covers a 37 county warning area in northern Indiana, southernmost Michigan, and northwestern Ohio.

Iowa

Severe weather: #iawx

Kansas

Severe weather: #kswx

Kentucky

Severe weather: #kywx

Louisiana

Severe weather: #lawx

Northeast Louisiana Skywarn, Twitter @nelaskywarn. Web page is 404 on 4/5/14.

Lafayette SKYWARN Group. 537 System repeater, KF5VH on 145.370 MHz.

Maine

Severe weather: #mewx

Maryland

Severe weather: #mdwx

Massachusetts

Severe weather: #mawx

Taunton (Boston) area covers southern New England. Twitter: @wx1box. WX1BOX Skywarn web site. Echolink NEW-ENG

Michigan

Severe weather: #miwx, #wmiwx (Western Michigan), #upwx (Upper Peninsula).

Upper Peninsula Skywarn, 15 counties in the UP. K8MDH 147.315 Mhz, Keewenaw County Skywarn/ARES via Broadcastify.

Kent County Skywarn covers the Grand Rapids area. Facebook: KentCounty Skywarn

Lansing Area Skywarn covers Ingham County. Listen live to the Okemos repeater.

Ottawa County Skywarn, Holland MI area. Listen online to K8DAA 147.060 via Broadcastify (down 4/6/14)

Washtenaw County Skywarn, N8DUY repeater. Ann Arbor area. (Broadcastify feed down 4/4/14)

Minnesota

Severe weather: #mnwx

Metro Skywarn serves the Minneapolis / St Paul area. Twitter: @metroskywarn. Feed: Metro Skywarn – South Metro Area via Broadcastify.

Mississippi

Severe weather: #mswx

Northeast Mississippi Skywarn (Tupelo area) via Tupelo Amateur Radio Club.

Missouri

Severe weather: #mowx

N0NWS 145.490 MHz Southwest Missouri SkyWarn Severe Weather Net via Broadcastify. SMSSW on Facebook.

Montana

Severe weather: #mtwx

Nebraska

Severe weather: #newx

Nevada

Severe weather: #nvwx

New Hampshire

Severe weather: #nhwx

New Jersey

Severe weather: #njwx

Bergen Skywarn covers Bergen and Passaic counties. Twitter: @WX2BC.

Cape May County Skywarn is 147.42 simplex.

New Mexico

Severe weather: #nmwx

New York

Severe weather: #nywx

New York City Skywarn.

North Carolina

Severe weather: #ncwx. Wilmington area: #ilmwx. Eastern North Carolina: #encwx.

SE North Carolina: RBC Skywarn (Facebook). Attached to NWS Wilmington, NC.

Central Carolina Skywarn web site. Monitor Central Carolina Skywarn WB4TQD on Broadcastify; serves Raleigh, NC and surrounding counties.

North Dakota

Severe weather: #ndwx.

Ohio

Severe weather: #ohwx. Cincinnati area #cincywx.

Central Ohio Severe Weather Network supports NWS Wilmington, OH.

Cuyahoga County Skywarn supports the Cleveland area. Twitter: @CuyahogaSkywarn.

Cincinnati’s Weather Amateur Radio Network (WARN). Listen to W8NWS on Broadcastify. 146.88 MHz. 17 counties surrounding Hamilton County, Ohio. Twitter: @CincySkywarn, #cincywx

Oklahoma

Severe weather: #okwx

Oklahoma weather frequencies on Radio Reference.

Eastern Oklahoma / Northwestern Arkansas Skywarn is out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Station [WX5TUL].

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

Severe weather: #riwx.

South Carolina

Severe weather: #scwx.

South Dakota

Severe weather: #sdwx.

Tennessee

Severe weather: #tnwx.

East Tennessee Skywarn, and a twitter feed @etskywarn. Knoxville area.

Middle Tennessee Skywarn Spotters (Facebook; not active). Nashville area.
MTEARS radio network. Nashville Severe Weather web site, @NashSevereWX. Spotter reports from Nashville, #tspotter.

Memphis area: #memwx. Spotter reports from Memphis, #mspotter.

Texas

Severe weather: #txwx. Dallas/Fort Worth, #dfwwx. Lubbock, #lubwx.

Fort Worth / Dallas: @wx5fwd, NWS Fort Worth Skywarn radio desk. WX5FWD SKYWARN Team web site. EchoLink conference WX5FWD (372418).

Denton County: W5NGU 146.920 via Broadcastify. Denton County Amateur Radio Association web site. Denton ARES.

East Texas Skywarn.

Utah

Severe weather: #utwx

Vermont

Severe weather: #vtwx

Virginia

Washington State

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Severe weather: #wiwx

Milwaukee Area Skywarn Association, Twitter @mkeskywarn. Weather nets are on the 146.91 repeater; listen to the Milwaukee Radio Club WI9MRC directly, or WI9MRC 146.91 on Broadcastify.

Packerland Amateur Skywarn Society, serving the Green Bay area. Twitter @WX9GRBSkywarn. Listen to Green Bay Area Repeaters on Broadcastify.

MidWest SSTRC covers the Madison area. Listen to MidWest Amateur Severe Storm Tracking Response Center on Broadcastify.

Wyoming

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HE WENT OUT WITHOUT A HAT. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT WILL CHILL YOU TO THE BONE

Or, Upworthy does weather in the imitable National Weather Service style.

For January 2-3 2014 we are looking at a wind chill advisory for the Ann Arbor area with wind chills going all the way past 15 below F. From the NWS Detroit:

Cold overnight temperatures in the single digits below zero will combine with 10 to 15 mph winds to cause dangerous Wind Chill Values of -17 to -23 across all of southeast Michigan. A Wind Chill Advisory has been issued for all of southeast Michigan Tonight through Friday Morning.

On the Ann Arbor Public Schools site, there’s a wind chill chart that shows you the combination of wind and cold that sets school policy for indoor recess and for canceling school. Mind you that school doesn’t start until Monday January 6 2014.

On days when the temperature and/or wind chill are below 0ºF:

Students will not have recess outside

On days when the temperature and/or wind chill are below -20ºF (20 below zero):

Schools will be closed

Aaps-windchill-chart

A tale of two Toronto mayors: @ToMayorFrod and @ToMayorFord

Toronto, Ontario is coated in ice tonight. A severe winter ice storm slowing the city to a slippery crawl, with widespread power outages. It’s a city in crisis.

Mayor Rob Frod of Toronto is not the Mayor of Toronto; it’s a Twitter parody account, prepared for the purpose of poking fun at Mayor Rob Ford.

So, given the need for crisis communications, who do you turn to in a pinch? Hopefully it would be the Mayor, but in the absence of a functioning Mayor, you turn to the Twitter account that pokes fun at the Mayor. @MayorRobFrod has been tweeting out news of power outages, transit service updates, warming centres, flight delays, and other emergency management info.

Truth, stranger than fiction.

More Toronto news:

The real Rob Frod has come forth with his true identity.

An map of Toronto Hydro outages, attributed to @toastywaffle as a Google fusion table:

Toronto-hydro-outage-map-22-Dec-2013

Ice storm of December 21-22, 2013 and the Sperry-Piltz Ice Accumulation Index

On the Sperry-Piltz Ice Accumulation Index:

The Sperry–Piltz Ice Accumulation Index, or SPIA Index, is a forward-looking, ice accumulation and ice damage prediction index that uses an algorithm of researched parameters that, when combined with National Weather Service forecast data, predicts the projected footprint, total ice accumulation, and resulting potential damage from approaching ice storms. It is a tool to be used for risk management and/or winter weather preparedness.

The index is named after its co-developers, Sidney Sperry of the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives and Steven Piltz, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service in Tulsa.

Spia-index-2013-12-21-22-wfoNE_USSPIAMax

The map shows intensity of the ice storm on a scale from 0 (little impact) to 5 (catastrophic damage). The index incorporates measures of rainfall (as ice), wind, and temperatures to come up with an aggregate measure. Washtenaw County’s forecast is a 0, but to the north (Livingston) and west (Jackson) counties there are chances for more severe icing. The forecast gives the worst hit to upstate New York along Lake Ontario; alas this map does not show Canadian forecasts, but news accounts predict severe weather in Toronto as well.

A report from Brampton, Ontario:

Ice in Burlington, Vermont:

Power outage map (Sunday a.m.) from DTE Energy:

Dte-outage-map-2013-12-22-10-30-am

Power outage map (Sunday a.m.) from Consumers Energy:

Consumers-outage-map-2013-12-22-10-30-am

Ice estimate from National Weather Service Detroit:

NOAA-Detroit-ICE_21-22Dec13

Live blog: November 17, 2013 tornadoes in Illinois and Indiana, severe weather in Michigan

Live blog of tornado and severe weather outbreak on Sunday, 17 November 2013. Worst affected were several towns in central and southern Illinois and in central Indiana.

12:15pm Monday. USA Today reports the death toll as 6 in Illinois, and 2 in Michigan. I don’t have details on the Michigan deaths. The report includes 1 minute 30 of tornado videos.

11:45am Monday. DTE Energy has a storm damage in Michigan photo set on Facebook. 270,000 DTE customers are without power. Map: DTE Outage Map.

11:15am Monday. The Chicago Tribune has a good photo gallery of storm damage across the state of Illinois.

1120p. AP has a state by state brief overview.

1100p. Power outage totals in Michigan. Latest from DTE Energy is 200K without power in SE Michigan as of 10:15 pm, per Detroit Free Press. 180K Consumers Energy subscribers in Michigan without power at 10:00 pm, per Fox 17 News.

1045p. Details from Washington, IL, about 20 miles east of Peoria, IL.

1035p. Updated Today’s Storm Reports.

Today_filtered-1

1030p. DTE Outage Map for Southeastern Michigan (excerpt from total). Lots of damage.

Screen shot 2013-11-17 at 10.26.45 PM

1025p. Tornado videos from 11/17/2013

1015p. Running down the list of summaries for the afternoon. Wikipedia has a page, which is as good a start as an overview as anything, listing 7 confirmed deaths and 32 separate incidents with a maximum intensity of EF4.

  • Wikipedia “November 17, 2013 tornado outbreak”

620p. Heading to Ignite Ann Arbor 8 in Ann Arbor, so I’m closing up this live blog for now. The storm was less intense in the Ann Arbor area than elsewhere, so other news sources will be better for current news.

615p. Photos coming out of the Kokomo, Indiana area show significant damage to a fire station there.

600p. 150+ without power west of Briarwood Mall, Ann Arbor, per DTE Outage Map. Whole Foods Cranbrook Mall is closed because of power outage. (@WFMCranbrookAA).

545p. Multiple reports via twitter of power surges and dips in the Chelsea / Dexter / Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti area, nothing yet on the DTE Outage Map.

525p. Live blog from NPR’s “The Two Way” says the Weather Service has issued 109 tornado warnings today, depicted here.

Warn_us_today1

515p. Severe Thunderstorm warning til 615p for Washtenaw County, MI: Washtenaw EOC via scanner #miwx.

510p update. Report of “NEW: At least 330k power outages across MO, IL, IN, MI, & KY” via @WCL_Shawn and #miwx. AP reports 2 dead in New Minden, IL, in the southern part of the state. WXYZ: Severe storm warning for Livingston Co. until 5:45pm via #7FirstAlert.

500p update. WLNS is streaming live coverage of Lansing, MI weather. WLIW has a live blog of damage across the state of Indiana.

450p update. The Washtenaw County SKYWARN net is active. No traffic to report yet. Now monitoring Washtenaw County public safety.

430p update. Tornado on the ground in Knox County, Indiana, with reports of home damage per Broadcastify.

415p update

…SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY…

AT 357 PM EST…NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED
STRONG THUNDERSTORMS ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM 50 MILES WEST OF
FOWLERVILLE TO 49 MILES WEST OF MANCHESTER…MOVING EAST AT 65 MPH.
WINDS UP TO 60 MPH…HEAVY DOWNPOURS…ARE POSSIBLE WITH THESE
STORMS.

THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE NEAR…
MANCHESTER AND GREGORY AT 440 PM EST…
FOWLERVILLE AND CHELSEA AT 445 PM EST…
OAK GROVE AND PINCKNEY AT 450 PM EST…
WHITMORE LAKE AND SALINE AT 455 PM EST…
HARTLAND AND ANN ARBOR AT 500 PM EST…
GUSTY WINDS MAY CAUSE BRANCHES TO BE BLOWN DOWN…AND LOOSE
OBJECTS TO BLOW AROUND. SEEK SHELTER IN A STURDY STRUCTURE UNTIL
THESE STORMS HAVE PASSED.

3:55 p.m. Updated Wundermap for 3:55 p.m. I’ll be watching Indiana weather next since it seems to be coming our way.

Screen shot 2013-11-17 at 3.55.59 PM

3:10 p.m. Tornado warnings in SE Newaygo County, Michigan, N of Grand Rapids. New Public Severe Weather map from NWS puts highest risk in Indiana.

Day1otlk_2000

2:54 p.m. EST Special weather statement –

…SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY…

AT 243 PM EST…NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED STRONG THUNDERSTORMS ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM 6 MILES SOUTHWEST OF CHELSEA TO 7 MILES SOUTHEAST OF MANCHESTER…MOVING NORTHEAST AT 65 MPH. WINDS UP TO 50 MPH…ARE POSSIBLE WITH THESE STORMS.

THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE NEAR…
* CHELSEA BY 250 PM EST…
* MILAN AND SALINE BY 255 PM EST…
* WILLIS AND YPSILANTI BY 300 PM EST…
* DIXBORO BY 305 PM EST…
* SALEM BY 310 PM EST…

GUSTY WINDS MAY CAUSE SMALL BRANCHES TO BE BLOWN DOWN…AND LOOSE
OBJECTS TO BLOW AROUND. SEEK SHELTER IN A STURDY STRUCTURE UNTIL
THESE STORMS HAVE PASSED.

2:51 p.m. Switching focus from Illinois to western Michigan. Severe thunderstorms off of Lake Michigan are hitting the western part of the state. Reports of 62 mile gust at Muskegon, trees down there. Update with latest Wundermap.

Screen shot 2013-11-17 at 2.51.06 PM

2:45 p.m. Some channels from Broadcastify that have severe weather and public service information, looking now at the Broadcastify top channels.

Skywarn

Public Safety

2:30 p.m. EST Wundermap snapshot.
Screen shot 2013-11-17 at 2.22.04 PM

2:15 p.m. EST Updated NWS Mesoscale Discussion 2018

SUMMARY…WIDESPREAD DAMAGING WINDS AND SEVERAL TORNADOES…SOME OF WHICH SHOULD BE SIGNIFICANT…WILL EVOLVE FROM IL INTO IND AND LOWER MI THROUGH MID-AFTERNOON.

Mcd2018

2:00 p.m. EST Reports from the Illinois statewide scanner include news that cell service coverage is down in some areas. Some sources for power outage maps:

Screen shot 2013-11-17 at 1.59.51 PM

1:45 p.m. EST Other live blogs/channels of weather:

Image from Twitter, @ChrisKhoury182 and credit to @AnthonyKhoury20 , from Washington, Tazewell County, Illinois, near Peoria.

1:30 p.m. EST: Weather map showing location of outbreak:

Today

1:15 p.m. EST: Monitoring the following:

Severe weather forecast for Ann Arbor and Detroit area for Sunday, November 17, 2013

The National Weather Service in Detroit forecasts a moderate risk of severe weather for the Ann Arbor and Detroit area as well as for the rest of southern Michigan for Sunday afternoon, November 17, 2013. The risk is of high winds with a chance of tornadoes. Winds will be from the south at about 25 mph with gusts of up to 70 mph.

UPDATED 12:45 p.m. EST: Tornado watch (Particularly Dangerous Sitation) WW 562

Ww0562_overview

UPDATED 11:15 a.m. EST: Mesoscale discussion map for MD 2011.

SUMMARY…SIGNIFICANT TORNADO/WIND HAZARDS WILL INCREASE RAPIDLY MIDDAY INTO AFTERNOON WITH A DOWNSTREAM TORNADO WATCH ISSUANCE EXPECTED E OF WW 561.

Mcd2011

UPDATED: Map with tornado, severe wind, rainfall, and hail threats for the area, from an NWS Grand Rapids briefing on Sunday.

Screen shot 2013-11-17 at 10.35.32 AM

UPDATED: Map as of Saturday evening for Sunday.

Day2otlk_1730

The weather briefing for November 16 (PDF) includes this slide showing the weather map for the area with predictions of severity for Sunday. The worst of the storm is expected to be between 2:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Detroit-severe-weather-17-november-2013

What do you tune in during severe weather? Twitter’s #miwx hashtag is useful, as is the amateur radio SKYWARN service which in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County uses the N8DUY repeater on 145.15. If you don’t have a ham radio, you can tune in to that repeater via Broadcastify.

Of course, no storm would be complete without a watch for power outages. My big list of power outage maps can be helpful; you will want to be watchful for DTE Energy,Consumers Energy, and Indiana Michigan Power outage maps in southern Michigan.

Brrr! Cold overnight temperatures on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 in the Ann Arbor area.

The cold overnight temperatures in the Ann Arbor area are illustrated nicely by the Weather Underground's Wundermap for the area – here's a snapshot from 12:30 a.m. Brrr!

Assuming that school is on tomorrow (and not called off because of bitter cold), this should be one of the few days of the year I don't just send my second grader off to make it to school on his own.

Screen shot 2013-01-22 at 12.34.56 AM
If the Ann Arbor Public Schools were to be called off because of bitter cold, it would be following these guidelines: no outdoor recess if temperature or wind chill is below zero, and no school if temperature or wind chill is below 20 below zero. Their table, under "Unsafe Weather Guidelines":

Screen shot 2013-01-22 at 12.56.32 AM
Here's local school closing information:

WDIV, Channel 4, "Click on Detroit": Detroit School Closings. (11 reported at 1 am.)

CBS Detroit, WWJ 950 AM: First School Closings. (11 reported at 1 am.)

Fox 2 Detroit: School Closings (11 reported at 1 am.)