The SKYWARN program at Weather Forecast Office (WFO) Lincoln, IL consists of spotters who watch the sky during threatening weather conditions. The spotters are emergency management, fire and police, amateur radio operators and trained citizens. They report severe weather such as tornadoes, flash floods and large hail to the WFO by radio or phone.

Process of how NWS receives weather reports from spotters

Our Amateur Radio program consists of amateur radio operators (Hams) who come to the WFO during severe weather and operate radios. They are the National Weather Service Ham Team. The Ham Team communicates with other amateur radio operators who run local networks of storm spotters across central Illinois. The Ham Team passes severe weather information from the spotter networks to the meteorologists.

Use of radio communication is the preferred way of getting information to the NWS. However, the Ham Team will use Echolink as well. Our Station call sign is WX9ILX and our node number for Echolink is 274513.


SkyWarn Recognition Day
SkyWarn Recognition Day (SRD) was developed in 1999 by the National Weather Service and the American Radio Relay League. It celebrates the contributions that volunteer SkyWarn spotters and Amateur Radio Operators (Hams) make to the National Weather Service for public safety. Spotters, using radio in the Amateur Radio frequencies report severe weather such as flash floods, tornadoes and damaging wind to local county network control radio operators. Then the reports are relayed by radio to the National Weather Service Office here in Lincoln. The meteorologists use these reports in preparing warnings for Illinois.
The most recent SkyWarn Recognition Day was Saturday, December 3, 2011.  Amateur Radio Operators came to operate radios, communicating on most of the amateur radio bands, at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Lincoln Illinois.
We made contacts with amateur radio operators at other National Weather Service Offices across the United States and across the world. Also, we  made radio contacts across area repeaters on the 2 meter and 70 cm bands. For more information, visit the NWS SRD webpage at: is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.