Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A CANWARN net was active on the NL repeater system on Tuesday, February 14. Net control Aaron Abbott, VO1FOX, took traffic throughout the day as 30 centimetres of snow and high winds closed schools, businesses, government offices and shopping malls.

At present we are experiencing a short calm period as we prepare for another northeaster that has just made landfall on our south coast. It’s expected that 70 to 90 kilometre winds will whip a further 30 to 35 cm of snow into blizzard conditions.

No power outages so far but NL Power is reporting that failure of one of it’s three generators at their Holyrood Plant could result in planned outages if high demand occurs.

A Province-wide CANWARN net will be activated at 9:00 pm local time (Tuesday). Echolink access through node 407282 is available.

The following information is from the CANWARN website:

CANWARN is a volunteer organization of Amateur Radio operators who report severe weather when they see it to Environment Canada. What they do is called ground-truthing. They confirm on the ground what satellites and radars see in the atmosphere. When Environment Canada’s weather centres issue severe weather watches or warnings, they alert the CANWARN volunteers at the organization’s regional stations in the affected areas. The volunteers contact other CANWARN members on the ham radio, tell them a watch or warning has been issued and ask them to report signs of approaching severe weather. These include lightning, hail, cumulonimbus clouds or as they are known in the trade CBs, and funnel clouds, which if they touch down are then called tornadoes.

CANWARN is organised in local networks. When CANWARN members spot severe weather, they send their reports to the CANWARN network controller who forwards them to Environment Canada’s severe weather office in Toronto using either a special telephone line or the CANWARN web page. At the weather office, the severe weather meteorologist combines the data from the satellites and radar with the information from the ground to refine the forecast or prepare a severe weather watch or warning. In Ontario, CANWARN stations are equipped with computers, printers, and ham radio equipment, and are located in community centres such as airports, police stations and senior citizens complexes.”

Doug Mercer, VO1DM
RAC Vice-President and Community Services Officer