Completed Events

Arkansas Skywarn
Skywarn (formed in the early 1970s) is the National Weather Service (NWS) program of trained volunteer severe weather spotters. Skywarn volunteers support their local community and government by providing the NWS with timely and accurate severe weather reports. These reports, when integrated with modern NWS technology, are used to inform communities of approaching severe weather. The focus of Skywarn (and of the NWS) is save lives and property.

Dave Weaver, KB5SBP, at the Skywarn Net Control stationMore specifically, our Arkansas Skywarn organization operates under a memorandum of understanding with the NWS, the Central Arkansas Radio Emergency Net (CAREN), and the Arkansas Weather Net, Inc. Spotters and net control operators of Arkansas Skywarn are licensed amateur radio operators. Our Skywarn nets are called up by the Severe Weather Forecaster on duty at the NWS, when severe weather approaches the area of responsibility of the North Little Rock office. This area is all of Arkansas with the exception of the NW, SW, SE, and NE corners, which are the responsibility of other adjacent NWS offices.

Arkansas Skywarn and CAREN appreciates the cooperation of Renee Fair and her staff at the NWS. Severe storm spotting and reporting with the NWS and Arkansas Skywarn has been in operation for some 28 years. We welcome any amateur radio operators who are interested in storm spotting, and encourage all Skywarn participants to take the Severe Storm Spotters' course offered by the NWS.

Skywarn Repeater Systems

Primary Repeaters
The primary repeater system of the Arkansas Skywarn Weather Net is the W5DI wide coverage system. This repeater network is owned and maintained by the Central Arkansas Radio Emergency Net (CAREN) Club. When the National Weather Service activates Skywarn, this repeater system is almost always linked up and placed in Skywarn mode. The Skywarn Net is indicated by a special courtesy tone, and a tail message every few minutes. These repeaters are controlled by a control operator from the Technical Committee of CAREN.

W5DI Repeater System
146.940(-)Little Rock (Central Arkansas)
444.200(+)(114.8)Little Rock (Central Arkansas)
147.315(+)(114.8)Russell (Eastern Arkansas)
147.285(+)(114.8)Clarksville (Western Arkansas)
147.270(+)(114.8)Bismark (Western Arkansas)
145.370(-)(114.8)Clinton (North Central)

Arkansas Skywarn Officers

Personnel Coordinator
     Danny Straessle - KE5WLR - (501) 228-4068

    Our Personnel Coordinator has the task of contacting and filling net control positions in the moment of crisis.

Skywarn Net Controls

Our net control operators are required to attend the NWS Severe Storm Spotters' Certification Course before they are eligible to lead our nets. Along with spotter certification, they are trained regularly at the NWS in areas including traffic handling, net etiquette , repeater controls, NWS equipment familiarization, and acquaintance with NWS personnel. If you would like to become a net control, please contact one of the Skywarn Officers.

Reportable Criteria

The National Weather Service has a specific list of reportable events which they request from spotters. Please note that rainfall amounts and wind speeds are no longer reportable criteria. It is important that reports are timely and accurate. Our reports are used to verify radar images, and to facilitate the forecasters in issuing warnings for counties in Arkansas. The following is a list of events the NWS has requested from us:

    Funnel Cloud-(with direction of travel)
    Wall Cloud
    Hail-(dime size or larger)
    Wind Damage

Click for Printable Report Form

Training Sessions

Amateur Radio Skywarn training nets are held on the second Tuesday night of each month on the W5DI repeater system, at 7:00 PM. The purpose of these nets is to test the Skywarn linked repeater system, and to train net control operators at the NWS. Also, training material is presented for all audiences. Topics are related to severe weather. Please check into the nets on your nearest Skywarn repeater.

The National Weather Service provides training for those interested in becoming a severe storm spotter. With successful completion, you will be a certified severe storm spotter. They normally run about 3 hours. Click on the NWS Skywarn page, and scroll down for the training schedule.

Upcoming Events

April 28, 20187
 MS Walk

May 19, 2018
 Inner City Classic Cycling Event

May 28, 2018
 Annual Memorial Day Ceremony

June 2, 2018
 Tour de Rock

September 8-9, 2018
 MS 150 Bike Tour

September 15, 2018
 Arkansas 20K

September 29, 2018
 Big Dam Bridge 100

October 6-7, 2018
 Arkansas Traveler 100