Watches, Warnings & Advisories for Sunflower Co.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Why This Blog Exists

Two years ago, this blog started out with a simple post:
Welcome to what will be an attempt to collect a wealth of weather information and data from multiple sources, and present it to you in a single, simple-to-read format.  We'll offer some insight into how we interpret National Weather Service forecasts, discussions and other information.  You are asked, and strongly encouraged, to research multiple points of information for weather, and not to rely completely on this blog.

This blog is a private venture, and not directly associated with any local, state, or national governmental agency.  We make no assertions to the timeliness, accuracy, or validity of the data, and the opinions offered here are for informational purposes only.
As we've gone through this very busy weather week with floods, ice storms and snow storms, it occurred to me that I should give you a little more of the background on "why".

You've likely read entries here that, from time to time, discuss the hobby and service that is known as Amateur Radio.  It was my intention to have this blog be a balance of both amateur radio information and weather information.  However, but without any regrets, this website has served the latter function far more than the former.

I mentioned that amateur radio is both a hobby and a service.  As a hobby, we're allowed to experiment with equipment and operating modes, unlike other radio services that are tightly regulated.  In return for that flexibility, amateur radio operators are expected to provide a "public service" of offering to relay messages through the airwaves at no charge for the public.  Specifically, the Code of Federal Regulations says:
Subpart A—General Provisions
§ 97.1 Basis and purpose.
The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications. <emphasis added>
While most of the weather that affects our area rarely results in an emergency situation for most, that potential certainly exists with every thunderstorm or winter weather event.  Amateur radio offers itself to the community as a way to communicate both official and personal messages out of a disaster area.

But this amateur operator thinks we can offer more than just a conduit of communications.  Being aware of potential hazards before they occur is a foundation of preparedness.  Sharing our insights and tidbits of information about upcoming weather seems to be a natural extension of that "value of the amateur service to the public..."

So to define the title "Why This Blog Exists" - it exists as a service to you, the faithful reader.  Amateur radio's partnership with the National Weather Service provides a direct link to the forecasters and some of the data they use.  To not share that with you would be a disservice to the community, and would fall short of one of the noble goals of an amateur radio operator: to communicate.  I hope the information shared here is of value and use to you.  I'm humbled by the number of "hits" that register when weather information is posted.  Thank you!

If Amateur Radio is something that might interest you, please visit the American Radio Relay League, or the Mississippi Section of the ARRL for more information on how to become a licensed operator.

No comments:

Post a Comment