Amateur Radio and Skywarn scored big with some really good television media coverage this past weekend during and after the Joplin Hamfest. On Saturday, KOAM-TV Channel 7 visited the Hamfest. Reporter Chloe Leshner spoke to Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn’s N0NWS Repeater Trustee Michael Blake, N0NQW. During the interview, Mike was able to remind folks that during the devastating 2011 tornado in Joplin, trained spotters were on the ground relaying information back to the National Weather Service using our linked repeater system and were therefore able to help meteorologists to disseminate advanced warnings to the citizens of Joplin.
And this is truly the case: radar cannot see what’s on the ground; we can. As horrible as the 2011 tragedy was in Joplin, the toll could have been much worse if precious seconds were wasted if not for the help of our Skywarn spotters.
To read and watch the full story on KOAM-TV Channel 7, click here.
Following the Hamfest, KODE-TV Channel 12 reporter Cortney Brown did an even longer story on how Skywarn and the National Weather Service are benefiting from the new analog/digital hybrid system known as Yaesu System Fusion. Once again N0NWS Repeater Trustee Michael, N0NQW was interviewed along with fellow system control operator and Yaesu System Fusion representative Chris Wilson, N0CSW and storm chaser Jordan Hamilton, KC0SHN. An interesting point made during this interview is how Yaesu System Fusion allows the National Weather Service to get quicker and more accurate reports of what’s happening on the ground thanks to the digital system’s GPS. Think of it this way: If seconds save lives (and they do in these situations), then how much time can be saved during an outbreak if a spotter or chaser doesn’t even have to stop and think about his or her location and then report it because the National Weather Service already knows thanks to the GPS reporting? And, if time is being saved, then so are lives!
To read and watch the full story on KODE-TV Channel 12, click here.
This is big, and, on behalf of the amateur radio community, we at Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn would like to thank Channel 7 and Channel 12 in Joplin for helping remind the public how amateur radio is here and ready to serve at a moment’s notice. And, as new technology becomes available and evolves, we work hard to implement all of new benefits available from it.