"The Eyes & Ears of Environment Canada"
CANWARN is a volunteer organization of ham radio operators who report severe weather to Environment Canada. They confirm on the ground what satellites and radar see in the atmosphere.
When Environment Canada's weather centres issue severe weather watches or warnings, they alert the CANWARN volunteers at the organizations regional stations in the affected areas. The volunteers contact other CANWARN members on amateur radio, tell them a watch or warning has been issued and are asked to report signs of approaching severe weather. These include lightning, hail, cumulonimbus clouds and funnel clouds, which if they touch down are then called tornadoes.
Environment Canada trains amateur radio operators to spot and report severe weather. Hams learn about the structure of storms, the types of clouds to watch for and what the department's severe weather watches and warnings mean. All CANWARN volunteers are encouraged to sign up for the refresher courses which the department offers each year.
Several Mississauga Amateur Radio Club members are certified CANWARN severe weather spotters for Environment Canada and are trained to clearly identify and report to EC, specific hazardous weather conditions that may lead to an emergency situation in our area. In the links below, you can learn more about the CANWARN program.
Any licensed ham radio operator may become a CANWARN volunteer. If you are studying for your license or are a short wave radio listener, you may join CANWARN as an associate volunteer.