Wednesday, July 24, 2019 Medina 62°

Local Medina County News

Amateur radio operators keep eye on sky

  • Severe-Weather-Ohio

    A Shelby firefighter walks down Plymouth Springmill Road just south of the intersection of Ohio Route 96, past severe storm damage to homes in Shelby on Sunday. A tornado warning was also issued that day for Medina County, and while it was going on, area amateur radio operators kept an eye on the sky.



A tornado warning went out Sunday afternoon across Medina County, prompting the National Weather Service in Cleveland to call on the Medina County Skywarn amateur radio operators to turn their eyes to the sky.

The weather service put the Skywarn operators on standby Sunday after a tornado watch went out for the area. The group’s status changed to full activation when the tornado watch turned into a tornado warning for Medina County.

A watch means that conditions are favorable for a tornado to occur. A warning means that a tornado has been seen or picked up by radar.

In the latter scenario, residents should take shelter and brace for a potential tornado.

The weather service specifically asked Skywarn operators to keep watch on a shelf cloud in the western part of the county. Shelf clouds are a typical spot where tornadoes form.

According to Tracey Liston, Medina County Skywarn coordinator, 25 operators took part in the activation. The activation lasted a little over an hour.

Skywarn, made up of volunteer observers, is a part of the weather service.

Skywarn operators contact the weather service by radio, said Doug McClure, public relations officer for the Medina County Amateur Radio Emergency Service.

Luckily, for Medina County the weather did not produce a twister.

“None that we know of,” meteorologist Doug Kahn said Monday. “There were no damage reports (made) there.”

McClure said although a tornado did not touch down in Medina County, some severe weather passed through the area. One operator reported 3 to 6 inches of rain fell in one hour near the intersection of Interstates 76 and 77 in Summit County.

He said winds in Medina County reached about 30 mph.

It was a far cry for what some Ohio residents experienced.

Kahn said two tornadoes touched down in the region — a sizable one in Shelby, which is a small town in Richland County and a smaller one in Springboro, Pennsylvania, in the northwest portion of the state. He said investigators went to both scenes Monday.

In Springboro, Kahn said the tornado was about a third of a mile long.

He estimated the tornado in Shelby to be about a half-mile long.

“It was an F2,” he said. “Winds were about 125 mph.”

Kahn said the Shelby storm looked bad on radar.

“It was a beast of a storm,” he said. “It looked like a super cell.”

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or by email at

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