January 2008 Newsletter

The next SKYWARN meeting is 15-Jan @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at the Owatonna Fire Station. The last couple of meetings have discussed how to maintain interest. Several ideas have been generated and some are in process of being implemented. Your help is needed to build on the work already being done.

December Meeting Notes
The December meeting was held on Tuesday, 18-Dec. The 10 members in attendance enjoyed a delicious dessert provided by Linda S. Topics included:

  • Tom K provided a tour of the updated web site and solicited comments on a couple of new ideas.
  • Tom K indicated that OSCAR will be sponsoring an Amateur Radio license class in February.
  • Dave P provided a brief explanation of the handheld radios recently purchased for use by volunteers during events.
  • Craig A related the efforts to ensure that schools have properly working NOAA radios and proper procedures in place.
  • Dave P supplemmented Craig's information with an explanation of NOAA radio coverage in Steele County.
  • There was a group discussion about ways to enhance getting information out to the public and keeping everyone interested in SKYWARN activities.

Our apologies to those that attempted to attend the meeting on Monday 17-Dec due to a printing error in the newspaper.
If you have not noticed already, the Steel County SKYWARN web site is process of getting a face lift. One of the objectives of any web site is to have people visit it on a regular basis. One goal to achieving that objective is posting a monthly newsletter is one tool to accomplish that goal. Another goal is to have content that is fresh and changes often. Your help is needed. If you have any news, articles, or ideas, send Tom a note at:

A special thanks to Dave Purscell for providing the server space for the SKYWARN (and OSCAR) web pages.

SKYWARN Recognition Day
SKYWARN Recognition Day was celbrated on 01-Dec. Developed in 1999 by the National Weather Service and the American Radio Relay League, it celebrates the contributions that volunteer SKYWARN radio operators make to the National Weather Service. During the day SKYWARN operators visit NWS offices and contact other radio operators across the world.

CERT Training Class
A training class for Steele County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is scheduled for January and February. The training is a total of 27 hours with a combination of 3 Saturdays and 3 Thursday evenings:

  • Saturday 05-Jan 8:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • Saturday 12-Jan 8:00 am to noon & 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Saturday 26-Jan 8:00 am to noon & 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Thursday 17-Jan 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
  • Thursday 31-Jan 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
  • Thursday 07-Feb 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Contact the Owatonna Fire Department if you are interested or need additional information. This would be good cross training for SKYWARN spotters. Spotters having the CERT training may be the first to come across an emergency scenario and have the ability to provide assistance.

Amateur Radio Class
OSCAR is once again planning to offer a Technician Class in the spring. The tentative schedule is 6 class sessions beginning on 12-Feb. Classes will be held on Tue and Thu nights. Class would finish up with an exam session on 11-Mar. Check the OSCAR web site for additional details.

Safety Vests
When working a communication emergency, your Steele County ID badge identifies who you are. The safety vest can serve the dual purpose of promoting your safety as well as helping to identify your role. There are many safety vest designs and styles. From a visibility standpoint, vests are grouped into three different classes, as illustrated below.

The cost of a vest depends on the Class, size, materials, and features. A simple Class I mesh vest can be purchased for under $15 at various retailers. Vests with the Steele County SKYWARN logo are available at Court Sports.

Twister Sisters
The We Network introduced a new weekly series with the Twister Sisters. Check the listings for future shows, but it has been showing up on the We Network at 9:00 PM on Tuesday. The schedule for 01-Jan is:

  • 06:00 PM Facing Fear
  • 07:00 PM Divorced Family Storm Chasers
  • 08:00 PM Weather Girl Fantasy
  • 09:00 PM Facing Fear
  • 10:00 PM Father Daughter Storm Chasers (New Episode)
  • 01:00 AM Father Daughter Storm Chasers
  • 02:00 AM Facing Fear

Special Deputies Fund Raiser
The Steele County Special Deputies are having a fund raiser at the Pizza Ranch on 16-Jan and 23-Jan. The Steele County Special Deputies will receive 10% of the sales between 5PM and 8PM each night as a donation. The funds will be used to purchase some safety equipment for the Special Deputies not being funded by the county.

Copyright 2007
Steele County SKYWARN
Owatonna, MN
All Rights Reserved