National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


NWS Melbourne, Florida
2017 SKYWARN™ Recognition Day
Final results have been compiled and pictures from the event
updated. Thank you to all of our amateur radio volunteers
who made this another fun and successful event!


Pictures From the 2017 SRD Event



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Dwaine, KM4HCN, and Ray, KI4RHL, in the BEARS-1 Van
(Photo Taken By Arnie Lewin, W7BIA) 
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Ray, KI4RHL, operating on 2M 
(Photo Taken By Arnie Lewin, W7BIA)

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Wayne, KA1VRF, operating on Echolink
with Vince, K4JC, and Steve, W4SPR, observing

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Ron, KD4PQQ, operating Echolink
and Paul, N0JAA, operating on 2M

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Brad, KW1P, and Paul, N0JAA, operating on 40M HF

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Jerry giving tours of the office to Amateur Radio
during our SKYWARN Open House

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Dwaine, KM4HCN, giving a tour of the BEARS-1 Van
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BEARS-1 Van with the KMLB Doppler Radar
(Photo Taken By Arnie Lewin, W7BIA)



During the first weekend of December, the National Weather Service Office in Melbourne, Florida supported SKYWARN™ Recognition Day for the 19th consecutive year.  The event for Amateur Radio (ham) operators was held from 7 pm Friday, December 1st until 7 pm Saturday, December 2nd and was co-sponsored by the NWS ( and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL;  We also hosted a SKYWARN™ Open House from 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday, December 2nd, where local amateur radio operators and their family members stopped by for tours of event operations and of the National Weather Service office.

SKYWARN™ Recognition Day (SRD) provides a venue for National Weather Service (NWS) offices to recognize Amateur ("ham") Radio operators for their commitment in helping keep their communities weathersafe. During every tropical weather threat, and many other major weather events, Amateur Radio operators staff local NWS and American Red Cross shelters and stand ready to provide emergency communications should standard services fail or become overloaded. Many Amateur Radio operators are also trained as SKYWARN™ weather spotters by local NWS offices, to provide valuable information during hazardous weather situations. Often, these spotter reports allow NWS meteorologists to issue severe weather warnings with greater advance notice and confidence than would otherwise be possible.

During the 24-hour event, Amateur Radio operators throughout the country visited their local NWS office, set up portable radio stations to simulate emergency conditions, and worked in teams to exchange weather reports with other hams across the nation and the globe. 

During the 2017 special event here at NWS Melbourne, operations included two High Frequency (HF) stations, including one in the Brevard Emergency Amateur Radio Services emergency communication vehicle (BEARS-1), and one provided by Eric Smitt, K9ES, of PCARS. Operations also utilized a Very High Frequency (VHF) station, and a PC-based EchoLink (VoIP) station in the NWS Melbourne office. HF operations utilized the 20, 40, and 80-meter bands. Amateur Radio operators across east central Florida helped operate through the event, including members of the Platinum Coast Amateur Radio Society from Brevard County (PCARS), the Brevard Emergency Amateur Radio Services (BEARS) group, the Treasure Coast Weather Net (TCWN), Martin County ARES/RACES, and Volusia County ARES. Licensed NWS Melbourne meteorologists also operated during the event. The NWS Melbourne East Central Florida SKYWARN™ Group special call-sign WX4MLB was used.


2017 SRD results:

 Total Contacts:   182
 States Contacted:  33
 NWS Stations Contacted: 
 Countries Contacted:  6
 Bands: 2, 20, 40, 80 meters  

 Modes: SSB, FM, Echolink


Radio Operators & Assistance Provided by:

Dan Fisher - AI4GK Brevard County - PCARS
Paul Gray - N0JAA Brevard County - PCARS/BEARS
Ken Hendrickson - N8KH Brevard County - PCARS
Dwaine Heroux - KM4HCN Brevard County - BEARS
Brad MaGill - KW1P Brevard County - RACES
Spencer Rich - KM4KFG Brevard County
Eric Smitt - K9ES Brevard County - PCARS
Vince Weal - K4JC Brevard County - TCWN
John Weatherly - AB4ET Brevard County - PCARS
Wayne Burkett, Sr. - KA1VRF Indian River County - TCWN
Ray Jaworski - KI4RHL Martin County - ARES/RACES
Steve Sprayberry - W4SPR Martin County - ARES/RACES
Ron Tagg- KD4PQQ Martin County - ARES/RACES
Warren Greenburg - AE4WG Volusia County - ARES  
Arnie Lewin - W7BIA San Diego, CA - FEMA
Pete Blottman - N2RFW NWS Melbourne
Don Burkhardt NWS Melbourne
Jerry Combs NWS Melbourne
Fred Johnson NWS Melbourne
Jessie Smith NWS Melbourne
Scott Spratt - KT4PD NWS Melbourne
Roddey Stevenson NWS Melbourne
Derrick Weitlich - W1DKW NWS Melbourne
Brevard Emergency Amateur Radio Services (BEARS)  

For questions, comments, feedback, please email Derrick Weitlich.  To receive a QSL card from WX4MLB after the event, please send  your card along with an SASE to: NWS Melbourne, 421 Croton Road, Melbourne, FL  32935. Electronic QSLs can be exchanged via EQSL ( 


Annual Statistics from WFO Melbourne (local records)

YEAR Total Contacts NWS Contacts States DX Countries Contacts nation-wide
1999 279 20 38   7  
2000 489 38 43 12  
2001 276 33 48   3  
2002 388 35 44 29  
2003 538 42 43 20  
2004 1524 68 49 57 1st Place
2005 778 71 49 20  3rd Place
2006 921 70 50 24  2nd Place
2007 930 64 47 17 1st Place
2008 1192 74 50 40 2nd Place
2009 1373 77 50 43 1st Place
2010  292 35   43     6  15th Place 
2011 1604 81 50 43 1st Place
2012 978 74 50 25 1st Place
2013 1024 54 47 21 1st Place
2014 1294 63 50 38 1st Place
2015 1407 65 50 32 -
2016 1209 65 50 21 2nd Place
2017 182 27 33 6  




2017 SKYWARN Recognition Day Official Website