NWS Wakefield SKYWARN
Amateur Radio Support Team
WX4AKQ Wakefield, VA
Welcome to Wakefield SKYWARN!
This is your "one stop shop" for everything SKYWARN related. Whether you are a Trained Spotter, a Net Control Station, local Emergency Manager, or simply a local "Weather Nut" we hope you find the information on this site useful, and we hope you will get involved in the SKYWARN program.
For general SKYWARN Spotter training information, consult the National Weather Service Wakefield SKYWARN information.
The NWS Wakefield SKYWARN Amateur Radio Support Team is a team of dedicated volunteers who collect
reports from the amateur radio community for relay to the National Weather Service Forecast Office
in Wakefield, Virginia. Our footprint spans 66 counties and independent
cities in portions of three states, covering over 3.6 million residents.
You will find our frequencies, area maps, and more on your local SKYWARN page:
Net Activation Forecast by Area - Next 24 to 36 Hours
This is typically updated daily between 9 AM and noon local time and periodically throughout the day. Last updated 7:04 PM Saturday by Waxman, Howard A (WZ4K).
Area 1 - Richmond - Activation will not be needed
There is a SLIGHT RISK for severe thunderstorms today, mainly during the afternoon hours. The main threats will be damaging wind gusts and large hail. Onset of severe of severe weather over western portions of the CWA should be around 100 PM, with storms moving off the coast by 700 PM.
New Frequency for SKYWARN in Central Virginia
Effective immediately, all SKYWARN operations in central Virginia have moved from the RATS 146.88 VHF repeater to the RATS 442.55 UHF repeater. Same great PL tone (74.4), same great net controls, new home. As a result of this change, a few counties have been removed from the Area 1 footprint, so have a look at the Area 1 page for additional information.
SKYWARN Leadership Change Announcement
On October 25, 2016, Steve Crow (KG4PEQ) announced his resignation from the role of Amateur Radio Coordinator for the NWS Wakefield SKYWARN Amateur Radio Support Team. Steve was appointed to this role in the summer of 2008 and in that time has overseen the careful rebuilding of amateur radio's support of NWS operations within the Wakefield County Warning Area.
Howard Waxman (WZ4K) has been appointed the new Amateur Radio Coordinator, effective January 1, 2017. Howard is currently the Area 3 Manager, in charge of SKYWARN operations in the Williamsburg, Smithfield, and Gloucester areas.
Steve is remaining on board to oversee the transition and will continue to maintain back-end IT systems including the SKYWARN Ops Portal product used by our Net Controls and emergency management partners.
Tim Farrell (KJ4NPB) has been appointed the new Area 1 Manager, filling Steve's vacancy as the local contact for SKYWARN operations in the Richmond metro and tri-cities area, effective immediately.
NWS Wakefield SKYWARN Amateur Radio Support Team announces Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Prince George County ARES and City of Hopewell ARES
New Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) builds a framework for resource sharing between SKYWARN and ARES, resulting in improved mobile and portable coverage for SKYWARN Spotters in the tri-cities area of central Virginia.
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA -- September 10, 2016
The NWS Wakefield SKYWARN Amateur Radio Support Team has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Prince George County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) and City of Hopewell ARES. This MOU defines the basic terms of a relationship through which ARES resources may be used for operation of a SKYWARN subnet.
Through this agreement, the two ARES teams are encouraging their members to become more active with the SKYWARN program, either as Spotters or Net Control Operators (NCOs). The MOU specifies how those ARES-affiliated NCOs will be classified and prioritized within the Wakefield SKYWARN system and provides mechanisms for ensuring covered ARES members can be quickly turned back over to their primary ARES functions.
SKYWARN operations by the covered ARES teams will take place primarily on a new subnet on the 147.39 MHz KK4QAK repeater in Petersburg. The repeater is sponsored by the Central Virginia Healthcare Coalition with trustee Gary Martinez (KI4ZLB).
This subnet will provide improved radio coverage for SKYWARN Spotters in the tri-cities area, supplementing the existing coverage provided by the primary SKYWARN net out of Richmond. Subnets are activated on a best-effort basis as local weather conditions warrant. Spotters may send reports to any operating SKYWARN net regardless of location.
Ten ARES-affiliated Net Control Operators were trained in two sessions at the Prince George County Emergency Operations Center on Saturday, July 16 and immediately became a part of the Wakefield SKYWARN team: Bob Brown (AB4JK), Earl Corbett (KD4OSW), David Clements (KG4DCX), Gary Martinez (KI4ZLB), Kenny Williams (KK4YCH), Stephen Eilert (KM4IBQ), Steven Johnson (KV4NK), Julian Bailey (KV4VP), George Golding (W3PPY), and Bill Gandel (WA4QFP).
Bob Brown (AB4JK), ARES Emergency Coordinator for Prince George County, has been designated the Net Manager for the new Tri-Cities Subnet. Bob will be reporting to the SKYWARN Area 1 Manager who is responsible for all SKYWARN operations over a large part of central Virginia.
The trial MOU goes into effect immediately and is due to end on December 31, 2017. The teams will evaluate the effectiveness of the MOU before adopting a long-term agreement toward the end of 2017. If successful, Wakefield SKYWARN hopes to replicate this type of agreement in other outlying areas not currently well-served by existing SKYWARN nets.
Wakefield SKYWARN wishes to extend its thanks and sincere appreciation to Bob Brown of Hopewell ARES, Julian Bailey of Prince George ARES, all of the ARES team members who are participating, as well as Jay Lovelady, Gary Martinez, and Andrew Slater of the Central Virginia Healthcare Coalition for their collective support of this initiative.
The full MOU can be viewed here.
Steve Crow KG4PEQ
Bob Brown AB4JK
Julian Bailey KV4VP
Upcoming License Classes in Hampton
The Hampton Public Service Team (W4HPT) will be offering a General Class amateur radio licensing class beginning March 4, 2017 with an exam session to follow. For more information visit the W4HPT web site.
Recommended Frequencies for Storm Chasers
Recommended common frequencies for storm chasers and chase teams operating in the Wakefield CWA can now be found on the Areas and Frequencies page as well as on our ICS-205 Communications Plan in the "ICS205_Chasers" tab.