The goal of Carolina Mountain Area Skywarn is to provide criteria severe weather reports from mountain counties to the National Weather Service. Carolina Mountain Area Skywarn will activate at the request of the NWS or at the discretion of the Skywarn District Coordinator / Assistant District Coordinator leadership.
Severe Weather Activation
For a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch in any of the counties covered by Carolina Mountain Area Skywarn:
- Carolina Mountain Area Net Control Station – WX4CMA will make announcements pertaining to the watch and monitor the repeater for reports of criteria severe weather.
- Buncombe County will be in “Watch” mode. Watch mode means this is not a directed net, and the repeater is free for normal amateur use.
For a Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Warning in Buncombe or any one of the neighboring counties:
- WX4CMA, will make announcements pertaining to the warning and monitor the repeater for reports of severe weather.
- Carolina Mountain Area Skywarn may use “Watch” or “Alert” mode. Alert mode means this is a directed net, and all traffic should be directed to Net Control.
In the event of fast developing and dissipating pulse storms, the Skywarn net may remain up after the expiration of the warning until such time the NWS directs that the threat of severe weather has diminished.
Severe Weather Criteria
In the event of severe weather, the National Weather Service looks for the following criteria:
- Hail – any size initially; then penny size, ¾” diameter or larger thereafter
- Measured wind speeds of 50 mph or greater
- Measured rainfall of 1″ or more that occurs within an hour’s time of less
- Flooding and flash flooding where none normally occurs
- Rotating wall clouds, funnel clouds or tornadoes
- Damage caused by high winds such as downed limbs and trees and their approximate diameter and building and roof damage.
Spotter reports are always needed when severe weather is occurring. However, please note that the National Weather Service defines severe weather criteria. Please do not make non-criteria reports unless specifically requested to do by the Net Control Station.
Winter Weather Activation
When winter weather warnings and advisories are issued for Buncombe County and / or neighboring counties, a Net Control Station will be standing by to take initial winter weather reports. A directed net may follow to take winter weather reports for the duration of the winter weather event. Please listen for announcements or check our website for scheduled nets during winter weather events.
Winter Weather Criteria
For a winter weather event, the National Weather service looks for the following criteria:
- Precipitation type – snow, sleet, freezing rain, rain
- Rate of precipitation – light, moderate, or heavy
- Changeover in precipitation type
- Snow or Ice accumulation
- Measured wind speed and direction
- Sustained power outages
- Road conditions
Tropical Weather Activation
When a tropical cyclone threatens the Buncombe County and / or neighboring counties, a Net Control Operator will be standing by to take initial reports with the onset of heavy precipitation and/or winds. A directed net may follow for the duration of the event.
Tropical Weather Criteria
For a tropical weather event, the National Weather service looks for the following criteria:
- Rainfall over last hour
- Total rainfall since start of event
- Reports of flooding roads, creeks, residences
- Current wind direction and speed (preferably measured)
- Peak gust since last report
- Wind damage
Based upon guidelines by Greenville-Spartanburg Regional Skywarn and Charlotte Regional Skywarn.