Skywarn & Severe Weather

CARS works with the Department of Emergency Management in the City of Chesapeake in assisting with providing emergency communications during emergency situations.  This can be in the form of providing communications from various shelters and other public safety facilities in the city to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) of the city.  Our repeater systems are also utilized to to provide a communications network between handheld radios, mobile units as well as base stations to make sure everyone who needs to be heard on the air is able to get necessary communications where it needs to go.  CARS also assists with operating HF (High Frequency) radio systems to communicate longer distances out of the area if necessary.

NOAA Weather radio broadcasts in the United States occur on seven dedicated frequencies: 162.400, 162.425, 162.450, 162.475, 162.500, 162.525, and 162.550 MHz. The NOAA Weather radio frequency for our area in Tidewater Virginia is 162.550 Mhz out of Wakefield Va.

The Area 5 Skywarn primary repeater 145.330 -offset (PL 131.8) is also configured to broadcast these watches and warnings when they are issued. If you have a spotter ID you can also sign up for an account on the Wakefield SKYWARN page at You can then signup for automated emails about activation’s and severe weather forecasts. Another great place to stay informed and be weather aware is at the NWS Storm Prediction Center. Or during Hurricane Season you can visit the National Hurricane Center website.

Dominion Energy Power Outage Map (Hampton Roads)

Useful Weather Info & Websites

Hurricane Preparedness & Evacuation

Hurricane Levels (Saffir-Simpson Scale)

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is a 1-5 rating based on the hurricane’s present intensity. This is used to give an estimate of the potential property damage and flooding expected along the coast from a hurricane landfall. Wind speed is the determining factor in the scale, as storm surge values are highly dependent on the slope of the continental shelf and the shape of the coastline, in the landfall region. (More Info)

Category One Hurricane:
Winds 74-95 mph (64-82 kt or 119-153 km/hr). Storm surge generally 4-5 ft above normal. No real damage to building structures. Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees. Some damage to poorly constructed signs. Also, some coastal road flooding and minor pier damage.

Category Two Hurricane:
Winds 96-110 mph (83-95 kt or 154-177 km/hr). Storm surge generally 6-8 feet above normal. Some roofing material, door, and window damage of buildings. Considerable damage to shrubbery and trees with some trees blown down. Considerable damage to mobile homes, poorly constructed signs, and piers. Coastal and low-lying escape routes flood 2-4 hours before arrival of the hurricane center. Small craft in unprotected anchorages break moorings. Hurricane Frances of 2004 made landfall over the southern end of Hutchinson Island, Florida as a Category Two hurricane. Hurricane Isabel of 2003 made landfall near Drum Inlet on the Outer Banks of North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane.

Category Three Hurricane:
Winds 111-130 mph (96-113 kt or 178-209 km/hr). Storm surge generally 9-12 ft above normal. Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings with a minor amount of curtainwall failures. Damage to shrubbery and trees with foliage blown off trees and large trees blown down. Mobile homes and poorly constructed signs are destroyed. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by battering from floating debris. Terrain continuously lower than 5 ft above mean sea level may be flooded inland 8 miles (13 km) or more. Evacuation of low-lying residences with several blocks of the shoreline may be required.

Category Four Hurricane:
Winds 131-155 mph (114-135 kt or 210-249 km/hr). Storm surge generally 13-18 ft above normal. More extensive curtainwall failures with some complete roof structure failures on small residences. Shrubs, trees, and all signs are blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Extensive damage to doors and windows. Low-lying escape routes may be cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore. Terrain lower than 10 ft above sea level may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of residential areas as far inland as 6 miles (10 km).

Category Five Hurricane:
Winds greater than 155 mph (135 kt or 249 km/hr). Storm surge generally greater than 18 ft above normal. Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. All shrubs, trees, and signs blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Severe and extensive window and door damage. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 ft above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5-10 miles (8-16 km) of the shoreline may be required. Only 3 Category Five Hurricanes have made landfall in the United States since records began.

Source: National Hurricane Center