NCARA is the Official Skywarn Spotter / Severe Storm Spotter Team

Organization for Nolan County certified by National Weather Service.

The Nolan County Amateur Repeater Association of West Texas W5NCA invites you and all interested persons to participate with us in the pursuit of the Amateur Radio ideals. This community service oriented club carries out many activities and projects during the year and is a core group of ham radio operators in West Texas committed to friendship and fun while preparing to serve our communities in times of communications emergencies.

                                    Meeting Times and Locations

N.C.A.R.A 's monthly meetings are on the last Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm at the

Sweetwater Nolan County Health Dept. ( 12th and Elm St, Sweetwater Texas 79556)


N.C.A.R.A. members meet every Sunday @8:15am
Location -  Ranch House, Sweetwater Texas

If you have any questions about the meeting location , times, agenda or gust interested becoming a amateur radio operator please contact Gary Armstrong at 325 235 4110


Please do not chase or spot storms without proper training, certifications, and equipment. Some people think that you watch the movie Twister and they can go and become a Skywarn Spotter. There are groups out there that have limited amount training, use cell phones and no experience They put themselves, the public and certified spotters in danger. Even if Nolan Co. Skywarn takes there report, its status is a non certified public report and we still have to verify it with a certified Nolan County Skywarn spotter. This take time and time is a necessity in weather spotting.

Our Organization will help you becoming a certified Skywarn spotter With training and help you get equipment. If you are interested in becoming a certified Skywarn spotter and helping the program please contact Gary Armstrong-

                                                         Skywarn Program

Skywarn is the National Weather Service (NWS) program of trained volunteer severe weather spotters. Skywarn volunteers support their local community and government by providing the NWS with timely and accurate severe weather reports. These reports, when integrated with modern NWS technology, are used to inform communities of the proper actions to take as severe weather threatens.

Skywarn, formed in the early 1970's, has historically provided critical severe weather information to the NWS in time to get the appropriate warnings issued . Thus the key focus of the Skywarn program is to save lives and property through the use of the observations and reports of trained volunteers.

Our training, elaborate radar, forecasting equipment, and years experience we are only able to determine the potential for severe weather without a preplain meeting or look at someone else forecast. Our spotter are prepair to deploy at any time . We rely on reports from the fire department and law enforcement personnel and the National Weather Service.

Accurate and reliable information from the general public or non skywarn organizations is difficult to obtain. Severe weather is complicated and confusing. The NWS has found that only regular training of weather spotters improves the quality of information we receive. The National Weather Service (NWS) collaborates with Amateur Radio organizations and others to put together training programs. The NWS brings its weather knowledge, the Amateur Radio Service brings its expertise in emergency communications, and together they work with local government and the Red Cross.

The Amateur Radio operator's participation in the Skywarn program is formally acknowledged and encouraged in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and the NWS. This agreement indicates that ARRL will encourage its local volunteer groups operating as the N.C.A.R.A. to provide the NWS with spotters and communicators as requested by the NWS during times of severe weather.

Many civil disasters are the direct result of severe weather and/or are exacerbated by severe weather. Accordingly, the NWS may utilize the Skywarn Amateur Radio operators not only to obtain and disseminate severe weather observations and warnings, but may also use them to maintain close coordination with the Red Cross and Emergency Managers from local government entities under Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES).

Nolan County RACES is organization of volunteer Amateur Radio operators trained in emergency communications and severe weather spotting. Authorized and regulated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), RACES provides essential communications and warning links for state and local governments during emergencies. The importance of this additional role for Skywarn was demonstrated during the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in August of 1992.

Trained certified Skywarn observers provide the Weather Service with accurate and timely reports from radio equipped cars and homes. The NWS is most interested in severe weather reports. Severe weather includes flash flooding, hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes. If the NWS confirms severe weather with radar and other available information, it then notifies local authorities who then can activate Civil Defense sirens. The news media receives notification so they can make reports on local broadcast stations.

N.C.A.R.A.'s volunteers donate thousands of hours and the use of their own personal radio equipment and vehicles to give their communities advanced warning of life threatening weather. Since the NWS instituted the Skywarn Program, there has been a significant decrease in the death rate due to tornadoes and other severe weather.

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