What they do is called “ground-truthing” where they confirm what satellites and radars see in the atmosphere. When Environment Canada issues severe weather watches or warnings, they alert the CANWARN volunteers at the organization’s regional stations in the affected areas. The volunteers contact other CANWARN members via amateur radio and reports are forwarded immediately to Environment Canada.
This is a wonderful example of a free, volunteer-driven community resource which has the potential to save lives and direct emergency responders to affected areas.
In Ontario alone, starting in April of this year and running through to the end of May, CANWARN offered about 20 training sessions at locations across the province. Scores of interest amateur radio operators attended.
The volunteers were trained in what to look for, how to report it and how to use their mobile and portable amateur radio transmitters to access the extensive network of amateur radio automatic repeaters that link just about every community in southern, central and even the near north of the province.
If you want more information about becoming a CANWARN volunteer, here’s the email link: Canwarn.OntarioRegion@ec.gc.ca