Severe Weather Awareness Week

Monday, March 6, 2017 – Friday, March 10, 2017

Missouri Statewide Severe Weather Drill 2017: Tuesday, March 7, 10:00 a.m.  Please tune into the Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn linked repeaters and check in with Jim N0UAM as he calls a special net that will start at 10:00 a.m. at the beginning of this drill. This net will take the place of the regular Tuesday evening Skywarn Training Net on this date.  During this drill, local tornado sirens should sound, and your N.O.A.A. Weather Radio alert should also sound.

2017 Severe Weather Awareness WeekThe National Weather Service, the Missouri Department of Public Safety, and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) have declared the week of March 6 -10, 2017 as Severe Weather Awareness Week for Missouri. The goal of the week is quite simple: SAVE LIVES. The best way to do this is by being prepared. Everyone should have a basic knowledge of severe weather safety rules and have a severe weather plan in place. Knowing what actions to take when severe weather threatens can be the difference between life and death.

A good time for all Missouri citizens to practice their severe weather plans will be during the Annual Missouri Severe Weather Drill, which will be held Tuesday, March 7, around 10:00 am. Special Note: The National Weather Service will make every effort to hold the drill on Tuesday, March 7. Clouds, rain or snow will not be enough to cancel, unless it is a major storm. If needed, Thursday, March 9, will be the backup day. Everyone is encouraged to take part in the drill at the appointed time. However, if the day or time does not work, conduct a drill at a time that is best for you. Please tune into the Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn linked repeaters and check in with Jim N0UAM as he calls a special net that will start at 10:00 a.m. at the beginning of this drill. This net will take the place of the regular Tuesday evening Skywarn Training Net on this date. During this drill, local tornado sirens should sound, and your N.O.A.A. Weather Radio alert should also sound.

Each day during Severe Weather Awareness Week will have a different theme:

Monday, March 6, 2017 – Preparedness Day
Severe weather will happen, and eventually it will affect you in some way. So the only thing you can do is to try and be prepared the best you can. There are no easy answers to the many questions and problems that can arise. You have to prepare for your situation with the resources you have available.
Click Here for a printable PDF with more information and tips about Preparedness Day.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 – Tornado Safety Day
This includes the Missouri Statewide Severe Weather Drill 2017: Tuesday, March 7, 10:00 a.m.  If there is the possibility of severe weather in part of the state on this day, it will be moved two days to Thursday.
The number of tornadoes in Missouri for 2016 was 18, which was well below the 1950 – 2016 average of 33.
Please tune into the Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn linked repeaters and check in with Jim N0UAM as he calls a special net that will start at 10:00 a.m. at the beginning of this drill. This net will take the place of the regular Tuesday evening Skywarn Training Net on this date. During this drill, local tornado sirens should sound, and your N.O.A.A. Weather Radio alert should also sound.
Click Here for a printable PDF with more information about Tornado Safety.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 – Flash Flood Safety Day
Flash flood/flood events have been a major weather killer in Missouri for many years, and 2016 was no different with 2 flood deaths. Of the 2, one involved a vehicle which is often the case. Only recently, due to a number of major tornado outbreaks, has tornado deaths in Missouri surpassed flood deaths over the past 10 years.
Click Here for a printable PDF with more information about Flash Flood / Flood Safety.

Thursday, March 9, 2017 – Severe Thunderstorm Day
Thunderstorms are dangerous because they include lightning, high winds, heavy rain that can cause flash floods, and tornadoes. A severe thunderstorm is a thunderstorm that contains large hail, 1 inch in diameter or  larger, and/or damaging straight-line winds of 58 miles per hour or greater.
Click Here for a printable PDF with more information about Severe Thunderstorm Safety.

Friday, March 10, 2017 – Communication / NOAA Weather Radio Day
Receiving the latest warnings during severe weather is critical. You must stay informed in order to make the correct decisions. There are many ways to receive National Weather Service (NWS) warnings.
-NOAA Weather Radio
-Commercial Media
-NWS Internet Sites
-Wireless Emergency Alert System on cell phones
Click Here for a printable PDF with more information about Communication / NOAA Weather Radio.

More information about 2017 Severe Weather Awareness Week can be found at http://sema.dps.mo.gov  and a http://www.weather.gov/sgf

Huge Turnout for Severe Weather Expo

Steve Runnels KD4OPZ

NWS Springfield Steve Runnels KD4OPZ

The Battlefield Mall was packed with people on Saturday, February 25th as the Springfield National Weather Service Forecast Office (Steve Runnels KD4OPZ pictured next to their awesome tornado simulator) along with local media outlets and A.R.E.S. and C.E.R.T. volunteers hosted this year’s Severe Weather Awareness Expo. Several of our Skywarn spotters along with other local amateur radio operators attended as well. The purpose of the event was to educate the public about severe weather and what each of us can do to be prepared.
Steve Runnels with the Springfield National Weather Service Forecast Office agreed that a lot of people are talking about the warmer-than-normal winter we’re having and wondering if it will translate into a harsh severe weather season this spring. However the answer is not that clear. Steve brings up the very accurate point that we’ve had plenty of winters with above average temperatures that led into relatively calm springtime conditions. The bottom line is that we will have to wait and see, and, while we’re waiting, be prepared.

Several folks who stopped by the C.E.R.T. / A.R.E.S. booth were excited to hear about the free Technician Licensing class scheduled for April in Springfield. (You can find details about that class by clicking here.)
John KD0ONE (pictured) along with several other Greene County C.E.R.T. and A.R.E.S. volunteers were on hand to answer questions about this

ARES / CERT - John KD0ONE

A.R.E.S. / C.E.R.T. – John KD0ONE (right)

class and about the vital role amateur radio plays in the community especially in times of emergencies. The most common misunderstanding among members of the community is the idea that our cellular phones will always work no matter what happens. Folks understand the concept of wireless communications. However, many fail to realize that if and when the cell towers lose power following a major disaster, their phones won’t do much – other than maybe pass the time playing Tetris.

On-air meteorologists from KY3, KRBK Fox 5, KSPR-TV Channel 33, KOLR-TV Channel 10 and the news team from KTTS-FM 94.7 were on hand as well signing autographs, posing for photos and

Meteorologist Abby Dyer KY3

Meteorologist Abby Dyer KYTV (KY3)

answering questions.

Meteorologist Abby Dyer (pictured) spent a lot of time explaining the basics of weather to curious visitors. KY3 had a very comprehensive educational display at their booth complete with charts and photos.

All of the media outlets also had their weather chase vehicles present complete with mobile weather sensing equipment on their roofs along with other important accoutrements.

Meanwhile a lot of folks enjoyed talking to KRBK Fox 5 Chief Meteorologist David Koeller (pictured) as he explained to folks the different weather extremes we can get here in the Ozarks. In fact, David agreed, Springfield, Missouri has one of the widest spans between the recorded all-time low temperature and all-time high temperature compared to other cities in the continental United States.

 

Chief Meteorologist David Koeller KRBK-TV

Meteorologist David Koeller KRBK-TV (right)

Springfield Missouri is much more weather aware following this expo. All of us at Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn send a big thank you to everyone who worked hard and gave of their time to make this such a successful event. If you missed this year’s Expo, there’s always next year. We hope to see you there!

Free Two-Day Technician Class in April

Technician Amateur Radio ClassGreene County A.R.E.S. will be hosting a 2-Saturday beginner’s Technician class on Saturday, April 8th and Saturday, April 15th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a break for lunch. Classes will be held at the Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation (O.A.C.A.C.) central office at 215 S. Barnes Ave. just south of  Chestnut Expressway and just across the street from the FedEx Shipping and O’Reilly Training Centers.  Use the interactive map below.

You can bring a sack lunch or run out to a restaurant during the short lunch break.

Testing is scheduled to take place immediately after the 2nd class session on Saturday, April 15th from 1 p.m.to 3 p.m.

You will need the Gordon West Technician book (make sure it is the 2014-2018 edition and not an older version that expired July 2014). You can find it for sale on Amazon – click this link and at other retailers. The book will cost between $20 and $25. There is no fee to take the class, but there will be an examination fee of $14 required to take the test.

IMPORTANT:  reservations are highly recommended as the class size requires a minimum of 5 and maximum of 25. Please call Mike KD0IWW at (417) 569-5586 to guarantee your spot in the class and to place yourself onto the contact list in case the class is cancelled or postponed.

College Ham Clubs Encouraged

(Courtesy: American Radio Relay League)  ARRL Public Relations Committee Chairman Scott Westerman, W9WSW, believes collegiate Amateur Radio clubs need to blow away the dust and cobwebs and modernize, in order to attract new members. And he urges college and university ham radio clubs to seek common technological ground with younger generations, in order to attract new Amateur Radio licensees.

ARRL PR Committee Chair Scott Westerman, W9WSW, operates W1AW/0 at the 2016 ARRL Rocky Mountain Division Convention (HamCon).

“We really need to be thinking in terms of…state-of-the-art technology, because that’s what ‘the kids’ are looking for nowadays,” Westerman told ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, during a brief interview at the 2017 Orlando HamCation February 10-12, which hosted this year’s ARRL Southeastern Division Convention. “The big challenge is how to get them away from their cell phones.”

Westerman, a Michigan State University (MSU) alumnus and executive director of the MSU Alumni Association, recalled his own student days, when MSU Amateur Radio Club (MSUARC), W8SH, had a Collins S-Line for a station. Founded in 1919, the MSUARC is one of the oldest collegiate ham clubs in the US.

Collegiate clubs need to tap into students’ interest in “parallel” technological realms, such as the Maker movement or those already experimenting with electronics, Westerman said. “At one time or another, we were all in that parallel universe, and there was something that brought us to ham radio,” he offered.

Westerman said the MSU club has come up with a program to get students on HF via a remote base. “So, you can get into our state-of-the-art shack, you can check out a control head, a Kenwood TS-480, take it back to your dorm, plug it into the Wi-Fi network, and work the world!”

While access to opportunities for getting on the air is important, Westerman said, the availability of Amateur Radio mentors — what he called “our seasoned generation” of radio amateurs — is also vital. “We’re trying to encourage them to reach out and adopt somebody, and to do the same for them that somebody did for us.”

For Westerman, that person was his uncle, who took him into his ham shack and got him fascinated with the world of Amateur Radio. “Why can’t we be one of those people for some kid in college?” he suggested. “That’s the challenge.”

This group of college students, alumni, faculty, and friends gathered for the Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative Forum at Orlando HamCation, moderated by Andy Milluzzi, KK4LWR (far left, kneeling), of the Gator Amateur Radio Club at the University of Florida, Gainesville, W4DFU. [Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, photo]

The ARRL College Amateur Radio Initiative (CARI) enjoyed attention throughout HamCation, Inderbitzen recounted. ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, wearing a “Penn” sweatshirt for his University of Pennsylvania alma mater, welcomed attendees to a Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative Forum, moderated by Andy Milluzzi, KK4LWR. A graduate student in electrical engineering, Milluzzi highlighted the value of Amateur Radio as a way to meet other people.

“We keep our alumni close,” Milluzzi said, explaining how college ham radio clubs help students develop professional networks in their field of study. Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA) Director Ken Simpson, W8EK, shared information about applying for QCWA scholarships administered by the Foundation for Amateur Radio (FAR). Sterling Coffey, N0SSC, posted the forum on YouTube. —Thanks to Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R

(source: The ARRL Letter for February 16, 2017)

New Macomb, MO Repeater Construction

Macom, Missouri Blue Slip TowersiteSouthwest Missouri Regional Skywarn is excited to announce that construction is about to begin on the forthcoming new repeater in the Macomb, MO area at the Blue Slip Towersite. N0NWS repeater trustee Mike, N0NQW, says the combined tower height of 130 feet and the ground elevation of 1,677 feet will give this new repeater a Height Above Average Terrain (H.A.A.T.) of roughly 472 feet! Let’s put this into perspective: if you were in the middle of Park Central Square in Downtown Springfield, you would need to be about 500 feet up on a tower to achieve a similar Height Above Average Terrain. H.A.A.T. is an industry standard measurement when it comes to determining coverage of VHF and UHF signals.

Local authorities are looking forward to the improved Skywarn repeater coverage for weather spotters throughout Wright and Douglas Counties. Wright County Sheriff Glenn Adler says this new Skywarn repeater will be a big help to him as he and his department along with emergency responders prepare for the upcoming severe weather season here in the Missouri Ozarks.

You can view the predicted coverage contour of this repeater by visiting our Repeaters page.  If you uncheck all boxes except for the Macomb checkbox, you will see the huge area that this repeater will serve.  It will be linked full-time into the Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn linked repeater system.

The new Macomb, Missouri repeater will transmit on a frequency of 146.745 MHz. with a standard minus ( – ) offset and a PL of 136.5 Hz.  Equipment will include a CAT 250 controller, a Yaesu Fusion repeater operating strictly in analog mode, 7/8-inch heliax cable, and a 6 dBd antenna.  It is expected to be operational by early spring.  All signal reports are welcome.

KY3 WeatherSchool Forecast Contest

KY3 Weather School Forecast ContestAttention students, educators and homeschoolers: It’s time once again for the KY3 WeatherSchool Forecast Contest.  According to the KY3 Stormteam, this contest promises to be a fun learning tool to bring the subject of meteorology to life by giving students an opportunity to put knowledge to work in a real time situation in a hands on way.

The contest is open to any school both public and private along with homeschoolers located in the KY3 viewing area.

The contest starts Monday, February 6, 2017 and runs through Sunday, February 26, 2017.

There are several prizes available including gift cards, Springfield Cardinals tickets, a Midland weather radio receiver with S.A.M.E., DVDs, books and more.

For all of the details including contest rules and entry instructions, please visit this link.

2017 Severe Weather Awareness Expo

Severe Weather Awareness Expo: Saturday, February 25, 2017 at the Battlefield Mall In Springfield, Missouri

Saturday, February 25, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Battlefield Mall, Springfield, Missouri

Battlefield Mall will host the 2017 Severe Weather Awareness Expo along with the National Weather Service and other local agencies and partners to better equip Southwest Missouri communities to prepare for the upcoming severe weather season of tornadoes, flash flooding and severe storms. The event will be located in the East Court of the mall, and it is free to attend. Mark your calendars for Saturday, February 25th from 10 am to 2 pm…Bring the whole family!

Missouri is known for its dangerous weather ranging from tornadoes, to extreme flooding, and even winter storms. It’s important for Missourians to know about weather safety since we have the extremes. The Severe Weather Awareness Expo at the Battlefield Mall is to inform the community on how to keep their families safe before and after severe weather hits.

The National Weather Service in Springfield along with other local partner agencies and media outlets will be there to educate the community on severe weather. There will be fun interactive activities and educational material for everyone. There will be a tornado simulation machine on display. Meteorologists will be there to answer your questions and even help you program your NOAA weather radio.

Technician Amateur Radio Class

Technician Amateur Radio ClassWant to get your entry-level Technician Class Amateur Radio license?  There’s a class coming up in Polk County this month.  Joye, N0OCP, says it’s a two-night course which will take place on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 and Wednesday, February 22, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. both nights.  Due to the late hour that the class ends, the testing session will need to take place on a different day.  Therefore, the testing session will be scheduled based upon the best day and time for those who attend the classes.

“I will use the Gordon West Technician class book,” says Joye.  You can find it for sale on Amazon – click this link.

The book costs about $22 (tax included) + shipping.  Additionally, testing fees cost $14 and are due on the day of testing.  These are the only costs for the class.   If a student doesn’t want to purchase a book, there is a PDF copy of the test questions and answers that can be downloaded – click this link.  However, most students prefer to have the book.

If you’re interested in attending, please contact Joye, N0OCP, at: N0OCP@arrl.net

January 2017 Climate Summary

January 2017 was a month with above normal temperatures here in the Ozarks.  The National Weather Service in Springfield, Missouri says that 3 out of 4 automated stations had the top 10 warmest January’s with Springfield coming in at number 11. Above normal precipitation occurred over the western part of the area, while drier than normal conditions occurred in the east.

For more details, click the graphic below:

Missouri Ozarks January 2017 Climate Summary