Amateur radio (or ham radio) support for the National Weather Service is provided by trained spotters across the country working with each area office to provide ‘ground truth’ reporting of severe weather events that many times are not detected by Doppler radar and other tools. Working with local emergency management, law enforcement, etc., we also provide confirmation of storm-related damage.
As you can see, in Kentucky, we are covered by six different weather forecast offices. Below is a break down of each office.
East Kentucky County Warning Area (CWA) Jackson
This CWA includes 33 counties in south-central, east-central, southeast and east Kentucky as shown in the map below.
The CWA is further divided into six regional amateur radio hubs for SKYWARN Spotters of the East Kentucky Weather Amateur Radio Network (EKYWARN) to provide storm reports to Amateur Radio Station WX4JKL located in Breathitt County where the Jackson Weather Forecast Office or WFO is based (as shown in red on the map below).
These regional hubs are located in:
Lake Cumberland on AC4DM at 146.880(-) PL Tone 77.0 (lcara.net/ares.html)
Cumberland Valley on KE4GJG at 147.180(+) PL Tone 74.4 (eastkywarn.wordpress.com/cumberland-valley)
Big Sandy on KY4ARC at 147.225(+) PL Tone 127.3 (ky4arc.com/index_files/Page728.htm)
Licking River Valley on KY4HS at 146.910(-) PL Tone 123.0 (facebook.com//groups/MoreheadARS/)
Kentucky River (North and Middle Forks)
KY4MT at 146.670(-) PL Tone 103.5 (kymarc.org/)
Kentucky River (South Fork) and Red River Valley
KG4LKY at 146.925 (-) TSQ 79.7 (https://eastkywarn.wordpress.com/kentucky-south-and-red-river-regions)
For more information on the East Kentucky SKYWARN program & East Kentucky W.A.R.N., go to weather.gov/media/jkl/pdfs/HAM_SKYWARN_Program.pdf
Kentuckiana CWA – Louisville
Led by WCM Joe Sullivan (KC7ITG), this CWA includes 49 counties across central Kentucky and 10 counties across south-central Indiana. SKYWARN net in central Kentucky takes place in the Louisville area on the KY4KY repeater at 146.700 located in Bullitt County and uses the NWS-Louisville amateur radio callsign WX4NWS whenever the SKYWARN Net activated. See weather.gov/lmk/skywarnprogram and ky4ky.com/skywarn.htm for more information.
Note: Within EKYWARN London Region, the Central Kentucky Amateur Radio Society (KE4YVD) in Richmond (Madison County) hosts an amateur radio repeater on the main campus of Eastern Kentucky University (inside the eastern part of the LMK CWA) at 145.370(-) PL 192.8. During SKYWARN net activations, KE4YVD is linked to amateur radio station KE4GJG in London(Laurel County located within the East Kentucky – JKL CWA) and to several other LMK CWA area repeaters located in Fayette, Scott, and Shelby counties. See kyaresdistrict9.wordpress.com for details.
West Kentucky – Paducah
The counties shown in the graphic above is the area of responsibility or CWA for the Paducah Weather Office (KJ4LNK) and is led by WCM Rick Shanklin and is assisted by Meteorologist and station trustee Michael York (KI4NXF). The Paducah Weather Office is supported by the Paducah Amateur Radio Association – PARA (W4NJA) with their Paducah Emergency Weather and Traffic Net held each Sunday at 9:00 PM on 147.060(+) PL Tone: 179.9. See the Paducah SKYWARN page at weather.gov/pah/spottertraining and the PARA website at w4nja.org/about-us/ for more information.
Northern Kentucky – Wilmington, OH
SKYWARN activities for the Wilmington (OH) CWA (WX8WIL) is led by WCM Brandon Peloquin and covers 32 counties in southwest Ohio, 8 counties in southeast Indiana, and 12 counties in northern Kentucky. For amateur radio purposes, these counties are divided into five SKYWARN regions. The 8 of these counties in northern Kentucky are part of the Cincinnati area Weather Amateur Radio Network or WARN with the other four counties a part of the West Union (OH) Amateur Radio Net (as shown in the map below).
For the eight Kentucky counties in the Greater Cincinnati area, SKYWARN operations are supported by the Northern Kentucky Amateur Radio Club (NKARC) and take place on the K4CO repeater in Walton at 147.375(+) PL Tone 123.0. For more information about the Cincinnati WARN, go to warn.org/info/about/. In the other four northern Kentucky counties that are a part of the West Union Amateur Radio Net, SKYWARN operations take place on the K8GE repeater in Adams County Ohio at 147.000(+) PL Tone 94.8.
Northeast Kentucky – Charlestown, WV
SKYWARN operations in the four counties of northeast Kentucky are part of the Charleston WV CWA and is led by WCM Tony Edwards (KJ4FYM). SKYWARN operations in this area take place on the K4AHS analog/DMR mixed mode enabled repeater on 440.6125(+) NAC 293 located in Boyd County.
Note: Inside EKYWARN – London Region, Boyd County in northeast Kentucky hosts a VHF repeater that may be linked during SKYWARN net activations to amateur radio station KE4GJG in London, KY located within the East Kentucky – JKL CWA. See kyaresdistrict9.wordpress.com or eastkywarn.wordpress.com/london for more information.
Given the close proximity to the East Kentucky CWA and the amateur radio network in place for spotters to use in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, we have included the…
Central & South Central Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia – Morristown, TN
This CWA, led by WCM Anthony Cavallucci (KF7TNC) includes 33 counties in East Tennessee, 5 counties in southwest Virginia, and 2 counties in extreme southwest North Carolina. See weather.gov/mrx/skywarn_page for details.
East Tennessee SKYWARN Amateur Radio operators support the Morristown Weather Office (WX4MRX) whenever severe weather threatens the region using the WB4GBI repeater system. Primary SKYWARN net activations take place on the Greentop (Bluff) Mountain Repeater in Sevier County on 146.940 with an alternate repeater located on Chilhowee Mountain in Blount County at 146.625 and a tertiary repeater located on English Mountain in Cocke County at 146.730. For further information, see etskywarn.net/wp/about-us/.
Note: Inside EKYWARN – London Region, Blount, Campbell, and Claiborne counties in Tennessee each hosts one or more UHF amateur radio repeaters that are linked during SKYWARN net activations to the VHF amateur radio station KE4GJG in London, KY located within the East Kentucky – JKL CWA. See kyaresdistrict9.wordpress.com or eastkywarn.wordpress.com/london for more information.
Questions about the SKYWARN program should be addressed to the proper Warning Coordinating Meteorologist for the county you live in, see the links above. Questions about the East Kentucky Weather Amateur Radio Network should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.