The Skywarn Youth Net was created in 2016 by Jim Sellars N0UAM while he was the deputy director of Skywarn in Southwest Missouri. During his Skywarn tenure, which spanned across two decades, Jim handled critical life-saving amateur radio traffic for the National Weather Service including during the 2003 Tornado Outbreak which hit Battlefield, Missouri, the 2012 Branson, Missouri tornado, and, of course, the extremely devastating EF-5 tornado that slammed into Joplin, Missouri in 2011.
Jim spent more than three decades working for the telephone company (back when landlines were in style and copper was king). While much of his work during those years took him outdoors and across the Ozarks, his passion for weather and storm chasing grew.
As Jim began to notice a new, younger generation of amateur radio operators showing interest in Skywarn and severe weather spotting, he suggested that some of these young hams establish and host a weekly on-air meeting (or “net”) of their own so that they could sharpen their on-air skills and better prepare themselves for future storm spotting activities. And, thus, during Labor Day Weekend of 2016, The Skywarn Youth Net was born on Sunday, September 4, 2016. At that time, the Skywarn Youth Net only aired in Southwest Missouri and saw an average of around a half-dozen weekly participants (or check-ins). Since then, it has grown its coverage to include several on-air repeaters in several different cities throughout the United States as well as across various digital Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks throughout the world with several dozen weekly participants (check-ins).
On Tuesday, May 22, 2018, on the 7th Anniversary of the catastrophic Joplin, Missouri tornado, Jim Sellars N0UAM became a Silent Key. While his passing has left a void in the Skywarn community, Jim’s legacy lives on in the continued growth of the Skywarn Youth Net.
The purpose of the Skywarn Youth Net is to provide a forum to encourage young amateur radio operators and their families to key up and get out on the air and to create awareness among these operators about Skywarn and basic weather facts.
When and Where?
The Skywarn Youth Net meets on several amateur radio repeaters throughout the United States as well as on worldwide amateur radio Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks such as EchoLink, AllStar Link, and DMR Brandmeister every Sunday evening at 7:30 Central Time or 0030 hours UTC during Daylight Time (first Sunday of March through the last Sunday of October) and 0130 hours UTC during Standard Time (first Sunday of November through the last Sunday of February).
For a list of participating amateur radio repeaters, click here.
For a list of participating digital Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks, click here.
During severe weather outbreaks, this net may be pre-empted in your area to allow for official Skywarn traffic on your repeater system.