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On January 22-23, 2016 a major winter storm brought a swath of heavy snow to the heart of eastern Kentucky, with up to 20 inches falling in some areas. A few counties even established new snowfall records. During this storm local amateur radio clubs and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) played a critical role in communicating essential information to the National Weather Service.

Those serving as net controls during this event gathered snowfall reports and other information from amateur radio operators across eastern Kentucky, and then forwarded the reports directly to the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Jackson via email or NWSchat. The NWS then disseminated the reports in official NWS products such as Local Storm Reports. Of the 303 Local Storm Reports issued by our office during the event, 65 came from amateur radio operators, and most of these were provided by the net control operators.

To show our appreciation for their dedication and commitment to public service during the January winter storm, the National Weather Service in Jackson, KY formally awarded Johnnie Brashear - KY4JOB of Hazard, Fred Jones - WA4SWF of Louisa, and Tony Anders - W4WXR of London, with the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Public Service Award. Congratulations and thank you for all you do for you communities!

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Johnnie Brashear, KY4JOB, (right) presented with Public Service Award by Shawn Harley, NWS Jackson, KY Meteorologist-in-Charge Tony Anders, W4WXR, (left) presented with Public Service Award by Tony Edwards, NWS Jackson, KY Warning Coordination Meteorologist Public Service Award given to Fred Jones, WA4SWF
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