November 2000 NWS Special Event Station a Success!

Last November the National Weather Service along with amateur radio operators throughout the United State held their Second Annual Special Event Station. The operating sites were located in and near the NWS offices throughout the U.S.

The Wilmington, Ohio National Weather Service Office was also a part of the event with many of it's Sectional SKYWARN Net Control Operators taking the microphone to operate the station over the event's time period. Using the Columbus Section's call sign of N8WX and an array of equipment (thanks to Tom, KA8ZNY of Columbus) the team of operators were able to obliterate their previous count from the 1999 event. The final tally, according to Wilmington NWS SKYWARN Net Control (WB8ZZR) Paul Gehringer was: 608 contacts (416 contacts in 1999), 48 states (30 states in 1999) with 42 NWS offices contacted. Endorsements were available to each participating SE station with Wilmington completing the requirements to earn: Hurricane Hunter, Monsoon, and Tornado. Country count is unknown although Paula from the Dayton SKYWARN had a contact with at least one country during her operating time and there were probably more.

Representing the 15+ counties of the Dayton Section of SKYWARN was: Paula (KA8HQJ) DiGennaro, Nelson (WB8VUU) DiGennaro, Frank (W8OK) Schwab, Shirley (N8LX) Roberts, and Lynn (N8LXK) Roberts.

This is the second year that that the NWS has held the Special Event Station and everyone has high hopes are that there will be another for 2001. As November draws near watch for an announcement in QST, RF Carrier, Dayton SKYWARN web site or on the NWS web site. Those contracting N8WX during the event are eligible to receive a special certificate commemorating the Special Event Station. Details will also be listed on the previously mentioned sites as the event's plans are formulated.

73, Paula, KA8HQJ (Dayton SKYWARN Coordinator)



Dayton SKYWARN Coordinators, Paula (KA8HQJ) and Nelson (WB8VUU) DiGennaro along with the organization's "Founding Elder" Frank (W8OK) Schwab begin operating during the NWS SKYWARN Special Event Station, N8WX.


The operations were held in the National Weather Service's conference room in Wilmington, Ohio.



Paula works with a 40-meter contact on Station #1 as night falls. "Hey Paula, you're writing with the wrong hand!"


Staring at the computer screen Nelson ponders switching frequencies on Station #2. (Note: The photographer didn't get an opportunity to catch Shirley and Lynn in action during their operating shift.)




2000 Dayton Skywarn Sectional End of Season Wrap-up

During the March 2000 Sectional NWS/SKYWARN Meeting the Weather Service announced that they were going to be more pro-active this season. At season's end the numbers show that they were just that with the total hours Dayton SKYWARN'S Sectional Net was activated and the number of weather statements issued during the actual net operations increasing by a large percentage, from that of 1999. We realize predicting the weather is not an exact science, but over all it is improving.

A big "THANK YOU" goes out to the 13 Dayton SKYWARN Sectional Net Control Operators who voluntarily are on activation by NWS and Dayton SKYWARN 24 hours a day 7 days a week during severe weather season. These men and women respond immediately, interrupting their daily lives in order to help the NWS and our communities relay information to the Weather Service. During activation these people don't get to go home once the system has moved through a particular county. They remain at the Section's operating location until the system has moved through ALL 15 counties. And then there are the county liaisons, the county nets and spotters. Without you we couldn't provide the vital information to the NWS so they can make educated decisions of when and how to warn for yours and our counties. Very seldom
do any of you get the thanks you deserve. Your services are most appreciated. Thanks for your help this past season and we look forward to working with you again in 2001.

This is the "revised" season wrap up. In October we released a preliminary report knowing that there was still plenty of time for activations. And Mother Nature didn't let us down. On November 9th operators and spotters were activated again due to a late fall storm front moving down into our counties. This report reflects all activations for the year of 2000.

Let's hope NWS is right when they say the weather is returning back to it's "seasonal average", that of 1996, not those we have experienced in recent years.

At the end of this wrap-up there are a few statistics released by the NWS regarding the WARNINGS issued and damage/severe weather reported to confirm those warnings for 2000 (as of October, 2000). It's quite informative.


Paula & Nelson DiGennaro, KA8HQJ & WB8VUU Dayton SKYWARN "KC8CMG" Sectional

2000 Dayton SKYWARN Wx Statistics

(For 2000 season of Jan1-Dec 31)

Severe WX Net Control Hours Operated (with drive time included):

KA8HQJ Paula DiGennaro

N8EKQ Marv Miller

KC8HFX Bob Kemphues

KG8X Sue Stacy

WB8VUU Nelson DiGennaro

W8OK Frank Schwab

N8OXC Chris Harris

WD8KYW Rick Ganter

WA8TIA Doug Magilvy

W8CI Mike Kalter

N8TNX Larry Bell

KB8YHU John Meece

190 hours Total Operating/Drive Time

Net Control Operators Total Severe WX Activation Hours:

190 hours in 2000

78 hours 55 minutes MORE worked in 2000 compared to 1999!


Severe Weather Training Classes

(includes preparation, drive time and time spent between multiple classes in same county)

(Dayton SKYWARN trained in 14 of our 15 counties)

147 Total Hours for County WX Training Classes


Additional WX Related Meetings Attended:

Paula DiGennaro & Nelson DiGennaro = 101 Total Hours


NWS/Dayton SKYWARN HamVention Booth-Participating Operators:

Paula DiGennaro

Nelson DiGennaro

Doug Magilvy

Bob (& Mary) Kempheus

Rick Ganter

Marv Miller

Frank Schwab

Chris Harris

46 Hours 2000 Total (33 in 1999)

Compared to previous season's-Weather Training Classes/Meetings/Activities

294 hours in 2000

-246 hours, 35 minutes 1999

47 hours, 25 minutes more in 2000


190 hours Net Control Operations + 294 hours
WX Training/Activities = 484 hours Total 
Volunteered Time for 2000 by Dayton SKYWARN Sectional Net Control Operators


Weather Bulletin Statistics for 2000 Season:

Severe Thunderstorm Watches = 12 (1 less than 1999) 8.6% decrease

Severe Thunderstorm WARNINGS =115 (21 more counties than 1999) 18% increase

Tornado Watches = 3 (2 more than 1999) 300% increase

Tornado WARNINGS = 7 (4 more than 1999-although there may have been more issued while Dayton SKYWARN was not activated. 57% increase Flood Watches & Warnings = 9 (8 more than 1999-although we are not usually activated for flooding) 98% increase

The NWS Amateurs or NWS personnel would have a better and more accurate account of the above items. The previously mentioned statistics were taken off the Dayton SKYWARN Site Logs and do not reflect any events (watches, warnings, or special weather statements) that occurred when we were not activated or not given to us during our net's activation.


NWS Weather Statistics Jan. 1-Sept. 16, 2000 As of September 16th SKYWARN
Sectional Meeting:

SEVERE Thunderstorms & Tornadoes:

WARNINGS ISSUED: 405 with approximately over 25% of those WARNINGS issued on August 9th.
The night of August 9th: A Record breaking 100+ WARNINGS were issued, 95% of those WARNINGS being confirmed by Spotter's visual sightings or damage reports: 28 minutes

ANNUAL AVERAGE LEAD TIME (from warning issued to actual arrival of the event): 16 Minutes


FLOODING & Flash Floods:

ANNUAL AVERAGE LEAD TIME (from warning issued to actual arrival of the event): 85 Minutes


Final Revision: 2-16-01


Last Up Dated 02/05/09