[aprssig] APRS SKYWARN applications

Tim Cunningham tim_cunningham at charter.net
Sat May 16 11:00:53 EDT 2009

I shared a presentation at a local ARES/RACES meeting in Huntsville, Alabama 
this past weekend on how APRS can augment a SKYWARN voice net activation. We 
get a lot of severe weather during the transitional seasons and the SKYWARN 
voice net is generally very active. I had the opportunity to be at home 
during a SKYWARN voice net activation and made some observations while 
capturing some screen shots of my APRS display during the activity. Once I 
put it all together, the picture was clear. APRS can provide valuable clear 
and concise information to dramatically improve communications and 
situational awareness. The NWS bulletins coupled with the ability to place 
objects on the maps as well as non-APRS storm spotters provide us with a 
clear and concise picture of situational awareness.

The ARES/RACES group here were impressed by the capabilities and we hope to 
see some new activity in our APRS community real soon. It seems that most 
were caught off guard on the capabilities that have not been tapped.

As I captured the views and put the pieces together the real story unfolded 
in a surprising manner. It became much clearer why APRS is a necessary tool 
(one of many in on our HAM tool belts). The situational awareness becomes 
very vivid when you watch a storm on an APRS map and see where all the storm 
spotters are located without speaking a word and capturing NWS bulletins in 
real time. You are better informed and aware of what surrounds the weather 
event, who is in harms way instantly, where the spotters are located, and 
where the damage takes place when objects are placed on the map for all to 

There has been some success in getting grants to install weather stations in 
at least one county (22 weather stations) that will be installed in the near 
future. These are our 24/7/365 weather spotters working daily around the 

If you missed the presentation this past week you can view some of the 
material at:


Tim - N8DEU

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