Weather Network Operating Protocol

 By Murray State University Faculty Advisor

John Hart, KO4ZE




I. Description & Purpose:

The Murray Area Severe Weather Net is a formal network operated by but not limited to members of the Murray State University Amateur Radio Club. The net is called in times of severe weather in the Murray Area or at the request of the National Weather Service. The purpose of the net is to provide real time reports of weather conditions to the National Weather Service via amateur radio. Secondarily, the net provides information to area residents who may be listening on scanners.

II. Activation:

A.) The network may be activated by a control operator when severe weather threatens the Murray area, when a watch or warning is issued by the National Weather Service for the Murray area and/or upon a request by the National Weather Service.

B.) When an activation is necessary an operator who can remain active in the net for the duration of the severe weather will open the network by reading the preamble. The operator will then provide a brief synopsis of the information known to date and open the net for check ins.

C.) While the net is active the repeater is not available for other uses. Recreational QSOs should move to another frequency. Be aware that all of the club repeaters can be called into service for a net.

III. Network Control Operator Responsibilities:

A.) The net control operator (NCO) will keep a written log of net activity and communication including but not limited to: 

B.) The NCO is responsible for monitoring the location of all mobile monitoring stations and checking their status frequently to ensure their safety and to advise the monitoring stations of known severe conditions approaching their position. This does not relieve the mobile operator of responsibility for their own safety. USE COMMON SENSE! Use of a county or region map is strongly advised to keep track of stations and weather systems.

C.) The NCO is responsible for all communication with the National Weather Service. The actual communication may be delegated to another station to expedite the delivery of information to the NWS if network traffic or conditions prohibit the NCO from communicating directly with the NWS. Such delegations should be noted in the net log. Normally, we will communicate with the NWS in Paducah. The NWS should be advised upon the opening and closing of the net and provided with timely condition reports. Any mode that is appropriate may be used to deliver the information (ie. FM or SSB Voice, Packet, Telephone, etc.) The NCO is to choose the most expeditious mode available.

D.) The monitoring station operator is responsible for their own safety.

E.) The monitoring station will follow formal network communication procedures, calling only the NCO unless specifically instructed otherwise by the NCO.

F.) The monitoring station will provide accurate reports of conditions at their location. These should include location, estimated wind speed, rain intensity, lightening descriptions, hail reports and any brief anecdotal information that will assist in communicating conditions such as the size of tree trunks being moved by the wind. Keep reports as brief as possible consistent with providing an accurate picture of the conditions. DO NOT repeat conditions unless requested to do so by the NCO.

G.) The monitoring station will transmit only when queried by the NCO. The only exceptions for this are when extraordinary conditions develop at the monitoring station location or when emergency traffic must be moved. Extraordinary conditions are those which threaten safety or property. Emergency traffic is that which concerns imminent danger to life or threat of injury requiring immediate attention. In these instances the monitoring station should transmit their call sign and the word "break" and wait for acknowledgement from the NCO.

IV Preamble:

"This is <Network Control Operator Call sign> activating the Murray Area Severe Weather Net. For the duration of the net traffic on this frequency will be limited to weather net traffic and emergency traffic. This is a formal net and all traffic should be directed to the Network Control Operator <Network Control Operator Call sign>.

<Description of reason for network activation and/or text of National Weather Service watches or warnings>

<Brief synopsis of information known about conditions>

Stations willing and able to participate in the monitoring of these conditions please call <Network Control Operator Call sign> and provide your name, location, whether or not you are mobile and your degree of weather spotter training. This is <Network Control Operator Call sign> operating the Murray Area Severe Weather Net.