Radio Operations at the
National Weather Service
SKYWARN operations for the Houston/Galveston area are based at the Houston/Galveston National Weather Service (NWS) office at FM 646. The radio room is on the second floor and is shared by both SKYWARN and the Galveston County Emergency Communications Group (GCECG). The main SKYWARN transceiver is a Yaesu FT-8800R which operates on the 2 meter and 70 centimeter bands. Although SKYWARN uses the Saltgrass system as the primary means of communications, most of the local repeaters can be accessed via the SKYWARN radio if necessary.
SKYWARN can also use the HF radio that is installed in the radio room. HF operations are not normally used for SKYWARN but communications with the State Operations Center (SOC) and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) would be performed via HF in the event of a hurricane threat. This capability was successfully tested during the 2007 Hurricane Drill where we were able to establish communications with the City of Austin using the ARES HF frequency of 7.285MHz (day).
Since the SKYWARN radio room is next to the NWS operations room, the person at the radio is in direct contact with NWS staff for incoming SKYWARN reports and the present weather situation. Weather warnings are relayed to the radio room by the Emergency Managers’ Weather Information Network (EMWIN). The weather consoles used by the meteorologists are also visible to the SKYWARN operator.
The NWS has an open house each year as part of SKYWARN Appreciation Day which is held on the first Saturday in December.
That concludes tonight’s training. Are there any questions, comments or suggested additions to this material?
Thanks, this is (callsign) clear to net control.