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National Weather Service Products via Amateur "Ham" Radio


Amateur radio, commonly referred to as "Ham" radio, is popular among the yachting and small boat community as a means of providing communications and receiving weather information. Amateur radio can be operated nearly worldwide, however, certain restrictions may exist and advanced permits may be required when operating within the territorial limits of another country. Within the U.S., amateur radio is regulated by the FCC. Information on licensing and all other aspects of amateur radio may be obtained by contacting the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).

Click here for information about licensing, education and training related to amateur radio.

Among the many aspects of amateur radio, "Hams" operate several maritime "nets" where information of common interest to mariners, such as weather, is exchanged. These nets are extremely popular in areas of the world which have a large yachting population and where weather is dynamic, such as in the Caribbean. Weather reports are typically exchanged in voice via single sideband although the popularity of digital modes such as SITOR/AMTOR, radioteletype (RTTY), PACTOR I, PACTOR II, PACTOR III, PSK31, and e-mail exchanges, such as the WinLink 2000 Global Radio Network (includes an option to download more than 450 graphic and text-based worldwide weather products). Search for maritime nets and other Ham radio nets.

Note to Net Operators - It would be helpful for nets to each establish a webpage so that we might be able to inform mariners of your activities.

Marine Observations (MAROB)


Many radio amateurs participate in the MAROB Program. The MAROB Program is a voluntary marine observation program of the National Weather Service.



Many radio amateurs participate in the SKYWARN Program. SKYWARN is a nationwide network of volunteer weather spotters who report to and are trained by the National Weather Service. These spotters report many forms of significant or severe weather such as Severe Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Hail, Heavy Snow, or Flooding. Learn more about the SKYWARN program. 

APRSWXNET/Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP)


Originally, APRSWXNET was developed as a way for amateur radio operators to transmit weather data to the NOAA's Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL) in Boulder, Colorado for research. The success of this effort and the amount of data routinely collected have led to use by other research labs and by operational parts of NOAA including the National Weather Service. The system has also been expanded to allow collection of observations via the Internet, thereby expanding the program to persons not holding an amateur radio license. The program offers the potential of greatly improving the accuracy of marine forecasts and timeliness of warnings. An example would be a network of volunteer automated weather stations installed at marinas and yacht clubs along the coast. For further information, visit the CWOP Webpage

Click on the link to find CWOP weather data  or visit NOAA's NCEP Central Operations MADIS Database.

United States Coast Guard Auxiliary AUXMON Program


The AUXMON program is a service of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary which assists the U.S. Coast Guard in providing the highest possible quality of weather and "safety of life" broadcasts. The AUXMON program is a network of approximately 40 radio stations (USCG "Auxiliary Communications Units") which monitor the broadcasts of Radiofax, SITOR, and Voice, on the HF channels and on 518 kHz (NAVTEX) from all of the Coast Guard stations around U.S. Their monitoring activity works to assure these broadcasts are accurate, timely, complete and useful.