As a liaison from your local county net to the backbone, you are responsible for relaying timely and high-quality reports to the backbone via the 6 meter repeater, DMR, or echolink where applicable.
The general procedure for spotter reports is as follows: Individual spotters will report to their local county nets, and the local county net will report (via liaison) to the backbone. If no county net is up, individual spotters may report directly to the backbone.
Cleveland Weather (the hams at the NWS office in Cleveland) is responsible for taking reports from all 30 counties in the county warning area. Therefore, having an experienced liaison station for each county is very important to ensure that we receive reports with all of the relevant details, reducing the need to spend time going back-and-forth to ascertain additional information.
As a liaison, even if you do not operate the backbone net from NWS, you should be familiar with what we expect. Our website has a downloads section – https://wx8cle.org/downloads/ – which contains a backbone operator manual. Please review the “Taking Storm Reports” section of this document. Please also review the storm report form, available at the same location. You may wish to print copies to keep near your station.
Also, please never be afraid to check into the backbone. If you are unsure whether you have all the information required, don’t worry – we will help you. Our top priority is to get reports, and we will provide assistance when needed.
Checking Into the Backbone
- Someone should always be listening to the backbone.
- When the backbone net is up, we will announce it on the repeater and DMR.
- Announce your presence by providing your call sign and county.
- Please let us know when checking out.
Passing Storm Reports
- Please pass only the following relevant reports unless asked.
- Tornadoes, funnel clouds, wall clouds, winds in excess of 50 mph, hail ½” or larger, measured rainfall rates, flooding in progress, or reports of storm damage.
- When receiving a report from the field, it is your responsibility to “clean it up” – many spotters may not know all the details required, so your job is to ensure you get all of that information before passing the report.
- Call Cleveland Weather, and after waiting for acknowledgement, pass your report.
- If we require more information, we will ask.
- NWS often requests information from the field, so keep your radio on and listen in case we call.