I was looking through the July 1957 issue of QST (my local archive from QST View) and found the following in the Kansas Section News (I rarely look in this area of the old issues) on page 116:
“[W0]LXA, of Salina, has formed the Kansas Weather Net operating on 3920 Tue., Thurs. and Sat. at 1930 regularly or anytime the WX Bureau advises of adverse conditions. Red states that 37 stations are reporting in to date and the list is growing.”
Presumably, the WX Net was started sometime in early 1957, perhaps late 1956 as no date is given. Lead time for the Section Communications Manager (SCM (just Section Manager these days)) to submit news items was about 60 days prior to publication and QST arrived around the 25th of the month prior to the issue month. So this text would likely have been submitted in April 1957 which leads to my best guess of the Net’s formation date.
Today the WX Net is Managed by Louie, WB0YWZ, has various Net Control Operators, and meets at 6 PM Central (Daylight or Standard) Time for 30 minutes on 3.920 MHz. Even though those early years were likely AM phone operation, today the net utilizes single sideband, specifically lower sideband (LSB). Sometime during the ’70s a morning WX net was begun and meets daily at 7 AM Central Time for 30 minutes on 3.920 MHz LSB. Stations from anywhere are welcome to check in and give a report of their local conditions.
The net does use a defined format for its reports which most stations use and is ordered as:
- Message number
- Wind direction and speed
- Present temperature
- High temperature (last 24 hours)
- Low temperature (last 24 hours)
- Humidity reading (percent of saturation)
- Barometric pressure and trend (steady, rising, or falling)
- Measured precipitation (last 24 hours or other time period noted)
- Sky conditions
I’ve participated in the WX Net since the mid ’80s which makes me something of an old timer, I guess.