The Digital Amateur Radio Club(DARC) was awarded a grant on April 12th at the Skywarn workshop held at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. the funds will be used to purchase a replacement repeater that was damaged in a lightning storm and has been off the air ever since. This will allow coverage for a very large portion of central Minnesota for Skywarn volunteers to report weather related information such as hail, funnel clouds and tornados. Morrison and surrounding counties are not well covered by doppler radar and benefit greatly from a network of Skywarn trained storm spotters using amateur radio to provide real time reporting of developing weather systems.
From the Skywarn website:
SKYWARN is a concept developed in the late 1960s that was intended to promote a cooperative effort between the National Weather Service and communities. The emphasis of the effort is often focused on the storm spotter, an individual who takes a position near their community and reports wind gusts, hail size, rainfall, and cloud formations that could signal a developing tornado. Another part of SKYWARN is the receipt and effective distribution of National Weather Service information.