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CANWARN (CANadian Weather Amateur Radio Network) is a joint project of Environment Canada (The Weather Office) and local Amateur Radio Groups, by which Hams, who are trained in their recognition of Severe Weather Elements, pass reports of sightings of such phenomena directly to their local Weather Offices, via VHF and UHF Ham Radio. This allows Environment Canada to detect and disseminate warnings to the General Public about Severe Weather Events which might normally go unnoticed by normal forecasting and detection techniques. CANWARN is somewhat similar to the Skywarn project which is in wide use within the United States.

Volunteer Weather Watchers

All across the country, thousands of volunteers watch the skies. When they spot tornadoes, thunderstorms, or other severe weather, they report it to Environment Canada. The approach of the deadly Edmonton tornado of July 31, 1987 was first spotted by volunteer observer Tom Taylor, a pharmacist in Leduc, AB, 24 km away. His prompt phone call to Environment Canada allowed the Weather Center to issue a life-saving warning to thousands of Canadians. Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms wreak significant and dramatic damage, but in the meteorological world, these events occur in a minute space and time. Forecasters' technological aids can meet their limits in severe weather situations. Satellites can't resolve enough detail to see individual tornadoes and radars can only detect what lies within their range. When such small, rapidly forming phenomena as tornadoes surface, on-site observations are essential. Volunteers' timely and accurate observations of severe weather are an invaluable supplement to Environment Canada's own full observation network.


VE6UV 147.090+ 114.8hz Central Edmonton Medium Range
Primary CANWARN Greater Edmonton Area Repeater VE6NHB 145.410 114.8hz SARA 2m Drop Repeater On 654* Off 655*

Other Linkable Repeaters/Nodes

VE6SSM 53.430 SARA 6m Drop Repeater On 662* Off 663*
VE6RPA 145.590 110.9hz PARAA EchoLink Node EchoLink# 28617
VE6OG 146.490 Simplex EchoLink Node EchoLink # 83885 Northwest Edmonton
VE6LAW 146.940 St. Albert 2m Repeater EchoLink# 236406
VE6HM 147.060 100.0hz NARC IRLP Node IRLP # 1068, */# AP
VE6RES 147.120+ 136.5hz RAES IRLP Node IRLP # 1909
VE6AFP 147.210+ IRLP Node IRLP # 1919
VE6OSM 147.285+ EchoLink w/ VE5RI Lloyd EchoLink # 246199 Local Range NE only
VA6XG 147.420 110.9hz Simplex IRLP Node IRLP # 1870
VE6NHB 444.950+ SARA 70cm Hub & IRLP IRLP # 1260
VA6XG 446.475 110.9hz Simplex IRLP Node IRLP# 1638

Other Non Linkable Repeaters

VE6RPA 145.190 PARAA 2m Repeater
VE6VPR 145.290 Strathcona Radio Volunteers
VE6HM 224.760 NARC 220 Repeater
VA6RS 224.560 123.0hz VE6UV Co]located 220 Repeater
VE6HM 444.100+ NARC 70cm Repeater
VE6GPS 444.400+ West End 70cm Repeater West Edmonton
VE6SBR 444.800+ 103.5hz Downtown 70cm Repeater Downtown Edmonton
Winlink RMS Packet Node
VE6DXI 10 145.730 Edmonton and Area EmComm 24/7
VE6GPS 10 145.010 Edmonton and Area EmComm 24/7
VE6RHS 10 145.010 Edmonton and Area Public 24/7


Curtis Bidulock VE6AEW, ARES EC
David Evans VE6DXX, ARES AEC
David MacFarlane VE6CUT, ARES AEC

Severe Weather Reporting Line



A severe thunderstorm watch is issued to identify large threat areas, with as much lead-time as possible. This is usually before thunderstorms have formed. Persons in affected areas should be on the lookout for storms, and stay tuned for updates throughout the day.



If a severe weather warning is issued for your area, take action - severe weather is occurring or is very likely. Your first priority is to take shelter. If you have time, secure loose outdoor objects, close windows, garages and barn doors. If severe winds develop, go to a basement or small interior room. Stay away from windows, and avoid large open structures such as arenas, malls, gymnasiums, or barns.



Watch, Listen, Plan

Watch the sky
Listen to forecasts and keep informed
Have a plan in place (especially if a watch is in effect)

Take action when:
You can count less than 30 seconds between the lightning strike and the thunder the storm is less than 10 km away. There is an 80% chance the next strike will happen within that 10 km. Seek shelter; the skies darken and gusty winds develop; and a weather warning is broadcast.



Wait about 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder is heard to resume outdoor activities Watch for broken tree limbs, fallen power lines and flooding caused by heavy rainfall.


When a tornado threatens, stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. The safest place is in the basement. If there is no basement, take cover under a stairway or sturdy table, or in a closet or bathroom. Go to the center of the house or the side away from the storm. Avoid buildings with areas of large, unsupported roofs like arenas, supermarkets and barns. If caught in such a building, go to the lowest roof, an inside hallway or small room or get under something sturdy. If caught in the open, move away from the tornado's path at a right angle. If unable to avoid the tornado, find a ditch, ravine, or other depression and lie flat. Do not remain in your car, you may be trapped if it overturns.
If no shelter can be found, hang onto a small tree or shrub.


What Lightning Likes

power lines
electrical conductors
high places, prominent or tall objects. It looks for the shortest path to the ground

Safe places

at home
in the car. However, do not drive or park under trees or other tall objects that may fall over in the storm.
in a valley, ravine or ditch by a smaller tree if in a forest


Close windows and doors
Maintain an emergency kit with a battery powered flash light, radio, first aid kit, food supplies, blankets and clothing
Seek shelter if outside. If no shelter is available, crouch down, feet close together with head tucked down. Don't lie flat.
If in a group, spread out, so that individuals are several metros apart.


go outside unless absolutely necessary
be or hang around the tallest object - hill, building, tent or telephone pole
ride a bike, play baseball, carry a fishing rod, golf club or umbrella, swim, boat or wear metal cleats.
go under a tree, by a metal fence, or take cover in a stand alone shed
be in the tub, on a corded phone by a window or play video games touch any electrical appliances like radiators, stoves, sinks or metal pipes.

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