Skywarn is a national program that is associate with the National Weather Service with the purpose of collecting severe weather observations and sending them to the local Weather Forecast Offices by using trained local spotter volunteers.
Skywarn storm spotting is open to anyone that is interested, it is not just a ham radio thing!
The St. Croix County ARES organization conducts Skywarn operations on behalf of St. Croix County and Pierce County in Wisconsin. To be involved you need to complete the National Weather Service in person training every other year to be current. We do recommend that you take the class every year as there is always a different perspective and something new to be learned.
There is no minimum age to participate in the classes; however, reports that are made to the National Weather Service need to be accurate through a mature understanding of the weather because they play an important part in the public warning process.
If you cannot make it to one of our spotter classes, please see the Chanhassen WFO schedule for other classes or the Metro Skywarn schedule for their classes. After completing those classes you will need to make contact with the ARES Emergency Coordinator in St. Croix County for a brief training on operations in St. Croix / Pierce County and to get assigned a 3 digit spotter ID.
Primary operating frequency for the St. Croix and Pierce, Wisconsin, counties are the Roberts (147.330+ 110.9) and secondary Hudson (145.130- 110.9) repeaters. The St. Croix County Valley Radio Amateurs provide the use of the Roberts repeater, as well as there will be experimental linking of the two repeaters thanks to their generosity. If you are interested in getting your ham radio license check out the Ham Radio License in a Weekend Class.
To be a member of the SpotterNetwork.org and to use their software to report to the National Weather Service you must complete their training program and complete their test.
The MetEd program at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research has an experimental class that takes about two hours to complete. This course is not as in depth, only half the length of our local class, but it is a good refresh.