Activation Policy

The mission of Central Carolina SKYWARN is to provide criteria severe weather reports from trained spotters to the National Weather Service in a timely, accurate manner.  Central Carolina SKYWARN will activate at the request of the NWS or at the discretion of the SKYWARN Emergency Coordinator/Assistant Emergency Coordinator leadership.

Severe Weather Activation

For a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch in any of the 18 counties covered by Central Carolina SKYWARN:

    • The tones will not be brought up.
    • A SKYWARN Net Control Station will make announcements pertaining to the watch and monitor the repeater for reports of criteria severe weather.
    • CCS will be in “Stand by” mode. Stand by mode means this is not a directed net, and the repeater is free for normal amateur use.

For a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning in any one of the 18 counties covered by Central Carolina SKYWARN:

    • The tones will be brought up.
    • A SKYWARN Net Control Station will make announcements pertaining to the warning and monitor the repeater for reports of severe weather.
    • CCS may use “Stand-by” or “Active” mode. Active mode means this is a directed net, and all traffic should be directed to Net Control.

In the event of fast developing and dissipating pulse storms, the tones may remain up after the expiration of the warning until such time the NWS directs that the threat of severe weather has diminished.

Severe Weather Criteria

In the event of severe weather, the National Weather Service looks for the following criteria:

    • Hail – any size initially; then penny size, ¾” diameter or larger thereafter
    • Measured wind speeds of 50 mph or greater
    • Measured rainfall of 1″ or more that occurs within an hour’s time of less
    • Flooding and flash flooding where none normally occurs
    • Rotating wall clouds, funnel clouds or tornadoes
    • Damage caused by high winds such as downed limbs and trees and their approximate diameter and building and roof damage.

Spotter reports are always needed when severe weather is occurring.  However, please note that the National Weather Service defines severe weather criteria.  Please do not make non-criteria reports unless specifically requested to do by the Net Control Station.

Winter Weather Activation

When winter weather threatens the Central Carolina SKYWARN coverage area, a Net Control Station will be standing by to take initial winter weather reports.  A directed net may follow at the bottom of the hour to take winter weather reports for the duration of the winter weather event.  Please listen for announcements or check our website for scheduled nets during winter weather events.

Winter Weather Criteria 

For a winter weather event, the National Weather service looks for the following criteria:

    • Precipitation type – snow, sleet, freezing rain, rain
    • Rate of precipitation – light, moderate, or heavy
    • Changeover in precipitation type
    • Snow accumulation or ice accretion
    • Temperature
    • Measured wind speed and direction
    • Sustained power outages
    • Road conditions

Tropical Weather Activation 

When a tropical cyclone threatens the CCS coverage area, a NCO will be standing by to take initial reports with the onset of heavy precipitation and/or winds.  A directed net will follow at hourly intervals for the duration of the event.

Tropical Weather Criteria

For a tropical weather event, the National Weather service looks for the following criteria:

Precipitation

    • Rainfall over last hour
    • Total rainfall since start of event
    • Reports of flooding roads, creeks, residences

Wind

    • Current wind direction and speed (preferably measured)
    • Peak gust since last report
    • Wind damage

 

Virginia Enzor

NC4VA
Emergency Coordinator

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