Welcome to Skywarn390.com, The "official" website for Skywarn in Portage County.
The Portage County Skywarn Net is activated upon the request of the National Weather Service, or whenever severe or threatening weather approaches that is expected to affect Portage County. The net will activate on the PARC repeater, KB8ZHP, 145.390 with a negative offset, no PL. Should the repeater become unavailable, the alternate will be the free node chat or intercom that is available on this site with 145.390 simplex being monitored simultaneously. We would like to thank the Portage Amateur Radio Club for providing repeater use during severe weather!
The group was originally formed in 1986 after the tornado outbreak of May 1985 with the responsibility of providing the National Weather Service, Cleveland Office, with accurate and timely reports from spotters in our area or relays of reports of conditions from spotters surrounding our area in order to establish the proper warnings and watches. The control and operation of the program has become somewhat blurred over the years as to who was in charge, responsible for doing what, when and if. Sometimes, it didn't happen at all! A change was necessary and it came on March 3, 2010 as the Portage County Skywarn, was established, amid alot of controversy, as an independent club with the callsign KD8NHF, for the "sole purpose" of developing and advancing severe storm spotting in the county for both licensed and non-licensed spotters.
With the exception of the National Weather Service, the agency responsible for creating Skywarn, the club and the program shares no affiliation with any particular club, organization, group or agency, government or otherwise. This allows us to concentrate exclusively on the reporting of severe weather and advancing those skills by having complete autonomy. Through our website www.Skywarn390.com you will find as much information as is currently available in order to be prepared for whatever circumstances may arise. Data will be added as necessary in order that the most recent and current information is readily available. I have loaded as much info as I had on hand and thanks to Dave, AC8FZ who made the web page work, there are realtime weather warnings county and state-wide, a radar map from Cleveland NWS, long-range weather radar, water vapor imagery map which is great during hurricane season, and a spotter ID map just to name a few. Of particular interest is an online chat area or intercom, that will allow our non-licensed spotters to check-in, report their observations, and improve their storm reporting skills. This is something that no other Skywarn program offers or has even addressed! It also functions as a reporting alternative should the repeater go down or if conditions prevent spotters from getting on the air, just to name a few. We're trying to make sure you can find all the information needed by being on one site and not having to be continually dropping in addresses from the other sites just to find what you want. Keep checking back. There's a ton of weather related info out there and if it's necessary, we'll have it!
Our most important priority is "SAFETY". No matter what, Safety will always be of FIRST importance and we ask that you report severe weather only when safe to do so. Remember that we are weather observers and spotters. Mobile spotting will never be encouraged or advised. Despite what you see on TV, there is no such thing as a Professional Weather Spotter, Storm Tracker etc. If you are staring down a tornado, trust me, it's not going to care who you "think" you are! Ask the "professional" from Texas that suffered a concussion last year after being hit by a SOFTBALL size hailstone from a supercell and you get the idea!
So poke around the website, see what's been done so far and have some fun with it. It's relatively user friendly but if you have a problem, don't be afraid to ask. By registering, you will be able to post information, opinions, solutions or whatever that will be of benefit to everyone. While some of the weather data presented here is specific to the local Ohio area, much of the information is universal and can apply to any area. Like the weather, this site will be a constantly changing work in progress to meet the needs of the program here in Portage County. Don't be afraid of rocking the boat by making a comment good or bad or a suggestion. Also, there are no stupid questions. Merely questions needing answers!
The amateur community is committed to this important public service function and with your help the Portage County Skywarn program will continue to provide this well into the future and we thank all of our spotters for being out there when it counts!
We're glad you're here. Thanks for stopping by and being a part of the Portage County Skywarn Group and......Keep your eyes on the skies!
73 from Gregg - WB8YYS Portage County Skywarn Coordinator
It has come to my attention that there is or has been an email being circulated that the Portage County Skywarn operations have been taken over by ARES of Portage County, moved to the 146.895 repeater and spotters are to check in there instead of 145.390! This is an idea predicated by the EC of Portage County, KC8PD and not that of the Skywarn program that has been in place for some time. The National Weather Service recognizes now as in the past that the Portage County Skywarn activates on 145.390, KB8ZHP at their request or anytime severe weather is approaching or occurring in the county. This is the frequency that Cleveland NWS will monitor if they deem necessary. The individual who continues to play politics by sending and forwarding degrading and malicious emails about our group is not acting in the best interest of amateur radio, nor the existing Skywarn program already in place and is in NO way authorized or for that fact qualified to commandeer a program administered by the National Weather Service in a feeble attempt to control all amateur radio functions in Portage County. In doing so, no forethought has been given as to the serious risk imposed by submitting duplicate, inaccurate or conflicting reports which may compromise safety and delay the National Weather Service from issuing critical warnings at a time when they can least afford for this to happen. However the NWS feels that the more "eyes watching the skies" the better and PCSW and its' members will abide by their decision. If you receive the email, consider its' source and ignore it as most have! If you have any questions, by all means don't hesitate to get in touch with me!
Gregg - WB8YYS
Portage County Skywarn Coordinator