Our EMWIN station is up and running!


The Northern Hills Amateur Radio Club is an organization dedicated to amateur radio enthusiasts in the Northern Hills region, typically referring to an area in South Dakota, USA. Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is a hobby that involves the use of radio communication equipment to communicate with other amateur radio operators around the world.

EMWIN stands for Emergency Management Weather Information Network.

This is, as far as we can determine, the first system in South Dakota. EMWIN is a system that allows all forms of weather related information to be downloaded direct from satellite. The information includes NEXRAD radar data, watches and warnings, storm system movement and so on. One person even said “We could probably get the heat signature from a South American swamp rat with this!” That may be stretching things, but the amount of information is amazing.

Why did we feel the need for this system?

Good question. We are only about 50 miles from the NWS office in Rapid City, SD. But the difference in climates is amazing. We can be sunny and 50 degrees in the winter, and it can be foggy and 20 degrees in Rapid City. The reverse can also be true. One storm dumped 110 inches of snow on us in the northern BLack Hills, while Rapid City only recieved an inch, and had sunshine for most of the duration.

While it is true that this information is available on the internet, you have to use phone lines to use the internet, and that has been a source of concern in the Black Hills area. Between lines to an ISP being used for people camping on the lines for email, to local and statewide outages caused by construction or computer glitches, we thought this was a more prudent way to go.

That and we are a bunch of weather nuts!