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.
SKYWARN Frequency, County Changes in Area 1
Moving back to VHF
Effective immediately, Wakefield SKYWARN is moving its Area 1 operations back to the W4RAT 146.88 MHz repeater, PL 74.4 Hz. The IRLP node number is 4424.
The change to 442.55 MHz was made in order to vacate the VHF frequency in preparation for the loss of the KG4MRA 145.43 MHz repeater, making a broad-coverage VHF allocation available to other EMCOMM agencies who need the broader coverage. Since the Metropolitan Repeater Association was finally able to secure a new site to keep the 145.43 repeater on the air, no shift in repeater usage occurred, leaving the 146.88 available for SKYWARN.
Additionally, we have discovered over the last several activations that the local coverage of the 442.55 repeater degrades unacceptably during severe weather, making the repeater "deaf" to local stations, while performing exceptionally well for fringe users. Since this unexplained degradation places a deaf zone over the Richmond metro area, rendering the repeater inaccessible to many of our spotters and net controls, it is necessary to shift operations back to the VHF allocation.
County Changes as a Result
This change back to VHF will undo some county changes made during the shift to UHF. Effective immediately, the following counties will be added back to Area 1:
SKYWARN nets in Area 1 will once again activate for severe weather occurring in those two counties.
For Additional Information
TIM FARRELL KJ4NPB
HOWARD WAXMAN WZ4K
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 11:04 AM Thursday by Farrell, Timothy W (KJ4NPB).
Area 1 - Richmond - Activation will not be needed
No hazardous weather is expected at this time.
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.
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.