CANWARN (CANadian Weather Amateur Radio Network) is a network of
volunteer Ham Radio Operators who observe and report both winter and
summer severe weather conditions. Reports are passed on via amateur
radio to a net controller at the Environment Canada Weather Centre in
Toronto. This information is then passed directly to the forecasters for
incorporation into the forecast. Canwarn nets operate under three
(probably self evident) states of alert.
Severe Thunderstorm Watch in effect. This is the basic state when the
net is in operation and taking various weather reports from spotters.
The frequency is available for regular traffic but conversations should
be kept brief so the Net Controller or spotters can break in if new
information becomes available. This is the time to ask "silly"
Severe Thunderstorm Warning or Tornado Watch in effect. This is an
alerted state of the net with the NCS only requesting and receiving
specific reports from certain spotters such as Hail larger than marble
sized; damaging winds; wall clouds; funnel clouds or any other unusual
weather events. The frequency is under Net Control.
Tornado Warning in effect. This is the highest state of alert, usually
prompted by confirmed sightings of active wall clouds or funnels. No
general radio traffic is allowed on the frequency under condition Red.
Only reports of wall clouds, funnel clouds, or tornadoes are accepted by
The Purpose of Canwarn
To Supplement the Network of Regular Weather Observing Sites across the Province of Ontario during severe weather conditions
Objective is to have a better idea of the evolution of winter and summer
severe weather storms so that more accurate forecasts can be made and
lives and property protected.
Canwarn Eastern Ontario Frequencies
- Kingston - VE3KBR - 146.940
- Cobourg - VE3RTR - 145.150
- Campbellford - VE3KFR - 145.390
- Picton - VE3RAA - 145.370
- Picton - VE3TJU - 146.760
In addition, local operators should monitor Environment Canada Weather updates on 162.400.
Frontenac Emcomm hosted a Canwarn Course on Saturday, May 9, 2015 from 9AM to noon at the Frontenac County EOC in Glenburnie. The next Canwarn training day locally is May 3, 2016 – City of Kingston – Artillery Park Aquatic Centre, Multi-purpose room, 382 Bagot St. RSVP to Environment Canada.
Trained Severe Weather Spotters