North Texas Section - American Radio Relay League

ARRL North Texas Section News

NTX ARES Newsletter - May 2020

May 9, 2020

Good Day Everyone! I decided to do a separate Newsletter for May because I wanted to address several topics with you.

  • Skywarn
  • ARC Exercise
  • Taskbook Updates
  • Staying Safe

SKYWARN/Storm Spotting/Weather Ready:

A key service provided by the Amateur Radio Service is ground truth reporting for the National Weather Service AND our communities. By providing corroborated ground-truth reports, the NWS can accurately issue weather warnings to your community that can save lives. Without your SKYWARN-trained eyes on the sky, the NWS can only rely on radar data, remote environmental sensors, and single-sourced reports from potentially untrained individuals. Social media has been an ineffective way to provide weather reports to NWS because of the potential for fake reports.

SKYWARN reporting is our most frequent activity. Accurate, concise reporting over the radio allows not only the NWS to make decisions, but the public and emergency management in our communities can listen in and act accordingly. For example, several cities in Collin County monitor the ARES SKYWARN net on the K5PRK repeater and issue alerts to their citizens based on the reports they hear from the spotters! The public uses broadcastify and scanners to listen to that repeater as well. Collin County has received numerous reports from citizens saying the SKYWARN spotter reports helped save their lives.

SKYWARN reporting makes a difference not just to your local community, but also to adjoining communities that may be monitoring. Communities that may be in the path of the storm can prepare and warn their citizens.

An accurate and current SKYWARN repeater list should be provided to the NWS SKYWARN desk and the NTX Section. Please provide current repeater information including node information and notify the section of repeater changes via email to

Saving lives IS THE NUMBER ONE objective, and the key tools we use are the radio and our eyes. With these tools, we provide more people with critical information about severe weather that may be coming their way while potentially saving their lives.

If you have issues with SKYWARN or reporting weather, please let me know via

American Red Cross National Communications Exercise:

The American Red Cross is conducting a national communication exercise on May 30th. The local Emergency Coordinator should be coordinating with the ARC Texas, local ARC and myself. Contact your local EC to inquire about participation.

NTX Section Taskbook Updates:

The NTX Section Taskbook was designed to document the training activity of the West Gulf Division in general and the North Texas Section specifically. While there are plans to update Section Taskbook in the future, there are no changes currently. We are looking at setting up an electronic version of the Taskbook that can be signed off digitally.

Staying Safe - COVID-19:

This global pandemic has affected almost everyone in the entire world – medically, mentally, and financially; nearly everyone in the whole world! The fight is unlike any war that any of us have lived thru. The enemy is silent, tortious, and deadly. Everything has changed; whether we like it or not, agree with it or not.

The need for safety has not changed; just the tools and methods that we use to fight this invisible enemy. We all need to follow the CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Why should we wear a mask? Because it can save the life of someone you love or know. A graphic I saw recently summed it up well:

If a person with COVID-19 is not wearing a mask, you are still 70% likely to contract COVID-19 while wearing a mask.  The best protection is for both the infected and uninfected persons to wear masks, reducing the infection rate to 1.5%.

Wear a mask when in public, maintain social distancing AND stay home if you are sick! It is the right thing to do for yourselves, your families, your friends, and your country.



Greg Evans, K5GTX