Accurate and timely weather observations are valuable information for emergency response and management. Ground truth information is one of the most valuable commodities that can be handled by amateur radio stations as we have seen in numerous exercises and real-world responses. On BLACK SWAN Net we regularly practice handling this kind of information through FIELDSITREP and OHGOREQ procedures. We add to that list, the weather observation, WXOBS, message.
Download and Install the Form
Our electronic form is implemented for NBEMS, the FLMSG application. You can download WXOBS (ZIP format) and install the HTML from the ZIP file in your NBEMS CUSTOM folder to begin using it with FLMSG.
Use the Form to Prepare a Message for Transmission
After installing the form in your NBEMS CUSTOM folder, start FLMSG and find WXOBS under the Form>CUSTOM menu option. Hit the Edit Form button in FLMSG and a browser will open, and you can complete the form there. Note that it shows at the top how to "list" the message (indicating to net control that you have a message for transmission) in both voice and print (digital) procedure.
Complete the form and hit the Submit bottom at the bottom of the form. FLMSG will have the completed form and you can save the message electronically as a file ending in "k2s."
Transmitting the Message
The form as it presents in the browser is a template that will aid an operator in a voice-only circuit for transmitting the message clearly and with proper procedure. The receiving station may copy the message into an electronic form on the receiving end or simply copy it exactly as voiced.
The k2s file can also be transmitted digitally with an application like FLAMP or FLMSG, or can be attached to a message sent through Winlink.
Viewing the Message
The message (if in electronic k2s format) can be loaded directly into FLMSG and displayed with the "View Form" button. If sent by voice, the same "View Form" can be used to disambiguate the meaning of, for example, "Line 2" as it would have been voiced.
Agencies receiving these reports do not generally view the forms individually but pass the k2s file to software for processing, aggregation, and presentation, as with other agency message formats.