(Canadian Weather Amateur Radio Network)

Current Alberta Watches and Warnings CAARC Central Alberta Weather Page
Carvel Weather Radar Strathmore Weather Radar
Current Conditions for Central Alberta Current Central Alberta ARES Status
Red Deer Weather Radio 162.550 Limestone Mountain Weather Radio 162.400
Report Severe Weather 1-800-239-0484 CAARC Repeater Network147.150 Red Deer, 146.910 Rocky Mtn. House, 145.210 Nordegg, 145.250 Stettler

Central Alberta CANWARN – Operational July 14, 2002.

Two years after the Pine Lake Tornado 18 Central Alberta amateurs and several XYL’s completed an Environment Canada  training program for amateur radio severe weather watchers. The Central Alberta CANWARN network was activated July 14, 2002 and will use both the Central Alberta Amateur Radio Club repeater network and the Southern Alberta Repeater Association repeater network to provide severe weather reporting. The final stage of this project took place at the Red Deer offices of the Canadian Red Cross as members of Central Alberta ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service), Olds Alberta ARES, CAARC (Central Alberta Amateur Radio Club), SARA (Southern Alberta Repeater Association), PARC (Penhold Amateur Radio Club), Red Deer Search and Rescue, REAP (Radio Emergency Aid Patrol) and the Red Cross DRT (Disaster Response Team) met to receive weather observation training from Dan Kulak, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist, Alberta Meteorological Service of Canada (Environment Canada).

CANWARN – Central Alberta Network

The CANWARN national network is operated by regional offices of the Meteorological Service of Canada(Environment Canada). It is open to any individual or club, regardless of their association. Its’ goals are similar to the SKYWARN program in the United States, relaying reports of severe weather (usually thunderstorms) to the appropriate weather forecast office. An article about CANWARN appeared in the A.R.L.A. Oct-Dec 2001 VE6 newsletter.Please note that CANWARN is not about storm chasing, it is about putting trained eyes at the local level to confirm what is happening under severe weather and communicating that information to the Meteorological Service of Canada.Here’s how CANWARN works in Central Alberta. When the regional weather forecast office (for the prairies this is the Prairie Storm Prediction Centre in Winnipeg, MB) would like to get ground observations of potentially severe thunderstorms they telephone the CANWARN person whom they have listed as the call-out person for the area of interest. In Central Alberta this will be the same people that are listed as ARES emergency coordinators. All Central Alberta and Olds ARES EC’s are trained CANWARN network controllers. The mechanics of how the net operates, local hams are notified and how their weather reports are forwarded to the forecast office are up to the CANWARN net controller. CANWARN Net Control may relay the observations or may elect to use a phone patch to put the forecasters and amateur observer in direct contact.Typically, the person contacted by the Meteorological Service of Canada  notifies the affected-area CANWARN hams who then radio their weather reports to their CANWARN Net Control (this does not have to be the person getting the original call from the weather office). Net control then forwards the weather observations to the weather forecast office on a dedicated 1-800 phone number.  As the storm moves along, reports would hopefully still come in from either stationary or mobile spotters allowing weather forecasters to continually compare the Carvel and Strathmore Doppler radar to what is being observed at ground level (below the radar horizon) and adjust their weather forecasts, Watches and Warnings accordingly.