The mission of Charlotte Regional SKYWARN is to provide criteria severe weather reports from trained spotters to the National Weather Service in a timely, accurate manner. Charlotte Regional SKYWARN will activate at the request of the NWS or at the discretion of SKYWARN NCO Stations.
Severe Weather Activation
For a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch in any of the counties covered by Charlotte Regional SKYWARN:
- The SKYWARN 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.
- Charlotte Regional 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 counties covered by Charlotte Regional SKYWARN:
- The SKYWARN tones will be brought up.
- A SKYWARN Net Control Operator will make announcements pertaining to the warning and monitor the repeater for reports of severe weather.
- Charlotte Regional SKYWARN may use “Stand-by” or “Active” mode. Active mode means this is a directed net, and all traffic should be directed to Net Control.
For a Flood Warning† in any one of the counties covered by Charlotte Regional SKYWARN:
- The SKYWARN tones will not be brought up.
- A SKYWARN Net Control Operator will make an announcement pertaining to the warning and monitor the repeater for reports of flooding.
- Charlotte Regional SKYWARN will use “Stand-by” or “Active” mode. Active mode means this is a directed net, and all traffic should be directed to Net Control.
† Flood warnings are usually prompted by heavy rainfall over a concentrated area. These area’s are usually prone to flooding when such events occurs, such as creeks, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and other low lying areas. When a Flooding events occur when there isn’t an associated storm warning, CRS will take flooding reports while in a stand by mode, and pass the reports to the NWS as normal.
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 Quarter, 1″diameter or larger thereafter
- Measured wind speeds of 56 mph or greater
- Measured rainfall of 1″ or more that occurs within an hour’s time or 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 Charlotte Regional 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 or Ice accumulation
- Measured wind speed and direction
- Sustained power outages
- Road conditions
Tropical Weather Activation
When a tropical cyclone threatens the Charlotte Regional Skywarn 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:
- Rainfall over last hour
- Total rainfall since start of event
- Reports of flooding roads, creeks, residences
- Current wind direction and speed (preferably measured)
- Peak gust since last report
- Wind damage
Last Modified by: Billy L. Irwin – K9OH GSP Emergency Coordinator & Chris Gay – N1CRG Charlotte Emergency Coordinator