What We Do.
Since we are ham radio people, the first thing necessary to be a “weather-netter” is a radio, a license to operate it and an antenna. Your class of license will depend on how and where you wish to check in, on 75 meters or on the 2 meter net.
The next thing in the mix is either a set of good weather instruments (anemometer, two recording thermometers for the daily high and low temperatures, a recording barometer to keep track of pressure trends and a four-inch or larger NWS approved rain gauge, all in a Stevenson Screen or the equivalent) or one of the large crop of electronic digital weather stations, available from Ambient Weather, Peet Brothers, Davis Instruments, and others (and a four-inch NWS approved rain gauge for accuracy).
With the digital weather stations, it’s good to note that you get what you pay for; the more expensive of these have faster/more accurate parts and pieces, and quicker reporting times and other capabilities such as connection to a personal computer, and/or the capability of creating reports, websites, or passing information to many of the online weather-hobbyist sites such as Weather Underground, the Citizens’ Weather Observing Program and the like with software sometimes included with the equipment.
Now the tough part: the next thing I should mention is a sense of dedication. Our served agency, the National Weather Service, could get some of the information we provide from any number of sources, but they depend on us Amateur Radio operators for consistent, accurate reporting. Yes, you have to get up early each and every day. Yes, you have to trudge out into the snow to get snow depth readings, yes you have to melt down the new snowfall and report the precip contained in the snow. Yes, you have to keep accurate records. Day after day.
For us, that’s part of the fun; that and working with radios, fighting propagation and conditions to get our messages through to the Net Control stations on the HF nets. On the two-meter nets, we have to depend on repeaters that may have occasional power problems, and other issues. We appreciate the time and devotion of all our reporting stations, additionally those out-of-state stations we hear from every day, in Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Iowa and many others.
If you think this is something you would like to dedicate some of your time to every day, drop me an email.
Net Manager, Colorado Amateur Radio Weather Net