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Ella French
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Godliness

PC2 StormStalkers – Guide

This page will be updated/expanded from time to time, so check back in regularly.

What makes a good tool kit? Well, a variety of tools, of course!

Weather is one of the universal experiences. No matter where you are on the planet… the weather is always affecting you in some way. Even not on Earth, space still has weather of its own. Whether it be having to throw up an event tent over the picnic for a “pop up” storm’s downpour, a headwind riding your bike, the power going out because of a dire winter storm, or the ever-present question “what should I wear today?”… or one of countless other scenarios… you needa know about what’s going on weatherwise.

Fortunately, in this year of our Lord 2021 (as of this page’s publication), weather tracking is quite advanced. We here at PC2 StormStalkers are here to help!

  • Weather coverage here on the SG site, Facebook, Gab, Twitter, Discord (the main place to be tuned into coverage!), RetroShare, Telegram (the other main place to be tuned into coverage!).

This one’s fairly self-explanatory, I feel. 🙂

  • Custom weather consulting

Do you have weather-sensitive business? Are you an event planner (or maybe you’re just planning one big event)? Consider a contract with us, the PC2 StormStalkers. We offer specialized weather coverage for great rates!

  • An extensive “clearinghouse” of weather data for Earth & Space here on the Grove website

We here at PC2S2 are awesome, but we can’t cover everything at every time! Therefore, we also provide hubs for, in conjunction with our updates, keeping tuned into weather info feeds for your locale.

If you look to the left & at the top, you’ll see the main menu for this here website. Under this Page – the PC2S2 Hub – there’s several pages that feature data & updates from, as mentioned above, Earth & Space! It can be hard to gather the information sources you need. Fortunately… we’re doing the dang thing right here!

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Here’s some (U.S.) tips for the use of Clearinghouse data:

(If you want to contribute tips for other countries that you’re familiar with, feel free to get in touch!)

  •  The Weather Prediction Center & Storm Prediction Center are in the business of informing the American public when there’s active weather in their areas of concern.
    • Important Terminology to Highlight:
      • Mesoscale Outlook/Discussion: These are issued by the SPC/WPC whenever there’s active weather in an area, whether severe or not. If there’s anything going on beyond just sun and/or clouds, one of these will likely be applying to you – and it’s worth keeping an eye on! These outlooks feed into the North America PC2S2 Hub, as well as the StormStalkers Tracking Center – & the #usa-alerts-feed channel on our Discord (which you’ll be in if you really want 2S to be keeping you informed!)From NOAA’s website:
        “When conditions actually begin to shape up for severe weather, SPC (Storm Prediction Center) often issues a Mesoscale Discussion (MCD) statement anywhere from roughly half an hour to several hours before issuing a weather watch. SPC also puts out MCDs for hazardous winter weather events on the mesoscale, such as locally heavy snow, blizzards and freezing rain (see below). MCDs are also issued on occasion for heavy rainfall, convective trends, and other phenomena, when the forecaster feels he/she can provide useful information that is not readily available or apparent to field forecasters. MCDs are based on mesoscale analysis and interpretation of observations and of short term, high resolution numerical model output.The MCD basically describes what is currently happening, what is expected in the next few hours, the meteorological reasoning for the forecast, and when/where SPC plans to issue the watch (if dealing with severe thunderstorm potential). Severe thunderstorm MCDs can help you get a little extra lead time on the weather and allow you to begin gearing up operations before a watch is issued. The MCD begins with a numerical string that gives the LAT/LON coordinates of a polygon that loosely describes the area being discussed.”
      • Hazards Outlooks: The WPC/SPC informing a given area about a certain type of hazard’s potential, such as flooding, fire, etc.
  • While most weather warnings are pretty set in stone – wind speed is wind speed, and the like – some warnings have different standards by region. For example, temperatures that may cause a Heat Advisory in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan might not warrant one down here in North Texas, as we contain different peoples who are used to different ideas of what constitutes “hot” weather. On the flip side, wintry weather warnings – Winter Storm Watches/Warnings and the like – tend to have lower standards of issuance in the South than in the North.
  • To get familiar with all the Watches, Warnings, Advisories, and Statements that the NWS puts out, go here.

 

Reference

Useful charts and such for understanding measurements, units, et cetera used in meteorology.

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It really speaks for itself, We feel… but like that trusty multitool… PC2S2 is awesome, but you need other tools by your side, as well. Let’s start with NOAA All-Hazards Radio here in the U.S.

This service used to just be called NOAA Weather Radio, but given the purpose of the network is to inform for not just weather, but also other important emergency events, it had All-Hazards Radio appended to its name a few years ago. (I’ll be using AHR/NWR interchangeably here.)

NOAA AHR broadcasts within a frequency range of 162.4 MHz to 162.55 MHz (for reference, the FM radio band in the U.S. is 87.9 MHz to 107.9 MHz). Radios with the capability to receive this band are easy to find. Stations cover most U.S. Territory, excepting very remote areas &, unfortunately, a couple of populated Territories.

As with most essentials, it’s good to have multiple radios capable of receiving NWR.

You want radios with what’s called S.A.M.E. This stands for Specific Area Message Encoding. Basically, it means that the radio only sounds the alarm for locations you specify, rather than other locations nearby that may be irrelevant to you & your immediate interests.

For example, NOAA AHR station KEC55 here in Fort Worth broadcasts over an area that covers all or part of 13 counties here in North Central Texas. But let’s say I live in Tarrant County (which I do!) but have zero need for warnings for, say, Somervell County to make my weather radio go ape. S.A.M.E. allows me to program in only Tarrant County via what’s called a “FIPS Code” & so, when my radio gets a warning that contains that FIPS code, it whoop-whoops… but if it doesn’t… it doesn’t.

Other countries that have weather/emergency radio services are:

  • Canada: Weatheradio Canada. They have S.A.M.E. technology just like us ‘mericans do. 🙂

Next up is your handy dandy Internet-enabled devices: phones, tablets, PCs, watches, and so on!

Generally, your phone/tablet’s “default” weather app is garbage. Leave it be, and opt for:

All Users:

These apps all can be set to give you the local weather conditions for whereever you happen to be, using your GPS sensor, as well as provided specific, custom locations for you to keep track of at a glance. Be sure you’ve enabled them to push notifications out & other relevant permissions.

Advanced Users:

  • Joshua Tee’s wX
  • Windy
  • Baron Critical Weather & Similar Apps (search “Baron weather” to find them – they’ll be TV/organization/etc branded & have the same ‘look and feel’ as BCW itself – install as many as needed to cover all your relevant locations of concern)

In addition to the features the “All Users” apps have, these offer up detailed info for the advanced user. If you’re not a weather buff, yourself, these probably ain’t your bag. But if they are, they offer much more than just the basics.

Whichever group you fit into… in addition to following (or joining!) the StormStalkers, use your mobile devices to keep on top of what’s going on, as well!

You can also simply access quality data from the links & syndicated content provided here on the Grove site, which, itself, is the best option to use on your PC(s).

PC2S2 M.O.

  • When we reference times of day:
    • “Night/Overnight” – 8pm/20:00 to 4am/04:00
    • “Morning” – 4am/04:00 to noon/12pm/12:00
    • “Afternoon” – noon/12pm/12:00 to 5pm/17:00
    • “Evening” – 5pm/05:00 to 8pm/20:00
  • Familiarize yourself with geographic regions in addition to place names, as we often use terms for simplicity’s sake. For example, if there’s a tornado risk from Central Missouri through Southern Illinois, into Northern Kentucky, Southern Indiana, & Ohio… we won’t use as many words. Instead, we’ll use “The Ohio River Valley”.

More Info