The NWS’s mission is to protect lives and property. When weather conditions are favorable for thunderstorms, tornadoes are expected to develop, or severe weather has been reported by spotters or by Doppler radar, a severe thunderstorm or tornado WATCH or a severe thunderstorm or tornado WARNINGis issued. Skywarn volunteers become the NWS’s eyes and ears, assisting the staff of the NWS with their weather watching and warning services.
Who will activate Skywarn?
In the Jacksonville Warning Area, the Skywarn system may be activated by the NWS, local EOC authorities, or self activation by JAX SKYWARN members. Spotters information may be relayed to the NWS through amateur radio operators, or in events localized to the Jacksonville warning area, directly by telephone to the NWS and/or the local EOC.
Where will Skywarn observations be taken?
Skywarn reports can be taken from local observations while at work, home, shopping or on the road traveling. The important thing to remember is that Skywarn spotters DO NOT JEOPARDIZE THEIR OWN SAFETY to report weather conditions.
Skywarn and Amateur Radio Operators
Ham radio operators have a special place in the Skywarn program. While weather reports are welcome from any source, the NWS office has amateur radio equipment on site. Skywarn amateur radio operators may be on duty to receive reports directly from the field. Skywarn amateur radio nets allow near instantaneous reports to be heard and filed directly with the NWS.