The following news items are courtesy of the American Radio Relay League and the VoIP Hurricane Net:
Caribbean Island residents and the Amateur Radio community have hardly had a chance to catch a breath from Hurricane Irma as recovery operations continue, but now Hurricane Maria is knocking on the door. The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN; https://www.hwn.org/) activated today (Sunday, September 17) on 14.325 MHz, with plans to maintain operations on that frequency during the day and on 7.268 MHz after dark.
“As propagation dictates, we may operate using both frequencies at the same time,” HWN Secretary Stan Broadway, N8BHL, said in making the announcement.
The VoIP Hurricane Net will activate today at 1500 UTC until further notice, to track Hurricane Maria and its potential impact to the Leeward Islands. WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center, will activate at 2100 UTC.
Maxim Memorial Station W1AW at ARRL Headquarters is monitoring the HWN, 60-meter interoperability channel 2, and Winlink for any traffic.
As of 1200 UTC, Hurricane Maria was about 85 miles east of Martinique and some 120 miles east-southeast of Dominica, with maximum sustain winds of 110 MPH. It’s moving west-northwest at 12 MPH. “Hurricane conditions are first expected within portions of the Leeward Islands by late today, with tropical storm conditions beginning during the next several hours,” the National Hurricane Center said. Heavy rainfall and storm surges are likely.
A Category 2 storm, Hurricane Maria is expected to affect the Leeward Islands this afternoon and this evening, tracking toward the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico later on Tuesday and Wednesday, with possible tropical storm conditions on some of the northern Leeward Islands during the day on Tuesday.
The International Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) SSB net will go to Delta II (extended monitoring) status on Tuesday at 1400 UTC on 14.265 MHz to support Caribbean residents as Hurricane Maria passes through. The net will remain in session until 2300 UTC. National SATERN Liaison Bill Feist, WB8BZH, said a decision will be made later in the week as to whether the Net will continue to be activated at a Delta II status.
“Hurricane Maria is a significant threat to many islands in the Caribbean that were devastated by Hurricane Irma just last week,” Feist said in announcing the SATERN plans.
At this point, it’s not clear that Hurricane Maria will be a threat to the US, although some computer models indicate that this is likely.
Hurricane Jose, now in the Atlantic Ocean, does not appear set for landfall along the East Coast, but its effects are anticipated in the form of tropical-force winds and heavy surf along the shore, especially the New England coastline.
Feist encouraged SATERN members to keep an ear on the Hurricane Watch Net.
Meanwhile, members of Argentina’s Yaguarete DX Group, who were expected to be active as PJ7T from Sint Maarten October 24 through November 4, have cancelled their plans due to the damage done by Hurricane Irma.
“Hurricane Irma destroyed 95% of infrastructure on the island, and it will be impossible to arrive and live there for a long time,” the group said in its announcement. It has changed the destination for its fall DXpedition to San Andres Island and is in the process of working out the formalities.
VoIP Hurricane Net Activation Plans for Hurricane Maria & Hurricane Jose Update
The following news item is courtesy of Rob Macedo, KD1CY, of the VoIP Hurricane Net:
Hello to all:
**VoIP Hurricane Net will activate starting at 11 AM EDT/1500 UTC Monday Morning 9/18/17 until further notice for Hurricane Maria and impact to the Leeward Islands over the course of the afternoon and evening Monday.**
**WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center, will be active starting at 500 PM EDT/2100 UTC Monday Evening 9/18/17 for Hurricane Maria impacts to the Leeward Islands.**
Here are the VoIP Hurricane Net Activation Plans for Hurricane Maria as of 9/17/17 at 1100 PM EDT/0300 UTC and commentary on Hurricane Jose and impacts on the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast US Coast:
The VoIP Hurricane Net will activate starting at 11 AM EDT/1500 UTC Monday Morning 9/18/17 until further notice for Hurricane Maria and impact to the Leeward Islands over the course of the afternoon and evening Monday. WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center, will be active starting at 500 PM EDT/2100 UTC Monday Evening 9/18/17 for Hurricane Maria impacts to the Leeward Islands. Hurricane Maria will impact the Leeward Islands during the afternoon and evening on Monday. Maria will then make a track toward the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico later Tuesday and Wednesday with possible tropical storm impacts to some of the northern Leeward Islands during the day on Tuesday.
Regarding Hurricane Jose, he is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to portions of the Northeast US as well as potentially the mid-atlantic states as we get into Tuesday into Wednesday. Jose is expected to slowly weaken to a tropical storm over the next couple days but have a large tropical storm force wind field affecting these areas. At this time, the VoIP Hurricane Net will focus on Hurricane Maria and her impacts on the Caribbean islands since direct hurricane impacts are expected and local/regional SKYWARN groups will handle Jose's impacts in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states but any SKYWARN criteria reports received from Jose by the VoIP Hurricane Net will be given to the NHC via the VoIP Hurricane Net webform.
Any Amateur Radio Operators in the affected area of Maria or with relays into the affected area of Maria are asked to provide surface and damage reports into the VoIP Hurricane Net for relay into WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio station at the National Hurricane Center. Again regarding Jose, any reports received from local/regional SKYWARN groups on the VoIP Hurricane Net will be sent via the VoIP Hurricane Net webform and when necessary to the local NWS office. We appreciate any and all support from Amateur Operators in the affected area or Amateur
Operators with relays into the affected area. We are looking for reports based on the National Weather Service SKYWARN Reporting criteria. This can be seen on the VoIP Hurricane Net web site at the following link:
Any pictures or videos of wind damage, river/stream/urban/storm surge flooding etc. can be sent to the following email address: email@example.com and credit will be given to the Amateur Radio Operator, weather spotter or individual that took the photos and media and be shared with the Amateur Radio team at the National Hurricane Center and other agencies and outlets.
Advisories on Maria and Jose can be seen off of the Main Menu of the voipwxnet web site, via our Facebook and Twitter feeds, and off the National Hurricane Center web site via the following link:
Reports as obtained via the VoIP Hurricane Net from Amateur Radio Operators in the affected area, relays from the affected area or from APRS/CWOP Weather Station feeds and other social media outlets can be found at the following link:
Stations outside the affected area who would like to listen into the VoIP Hurricane Net can use any of the following systems for listen-only purposes and can connect on either Echolink or IRLP:
*Sky_Gate* Echolink conference node: 868981/IRLP 9252
Stations outside the affected area who would like to listen into the VoIP Hurricane Net can use any of the following systems for listen-only purposes on Echolink:
*KA1AAA* Echolink conference node: 269929
*WASH_DC* Echolink conference node: 6154
Stations outside the affected area who would like to listen into the VoIP Hurricane Net can use any of the following systems for listen-only purposes on All-Star by dialing *033270177 or *033009123.
An audio livestream has been setup on Youtube through the efforts of W5YAG-Chad Yaggie. That link is listed below:
https://voipwx.org (Can also be obtained via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIwX7gBC_r0)
The VoIP Hurricane Net Management team continues to closely watch Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Jose. Thanks to all for their continued support of the VoIP Hurricane Net!
73, Rob Macedo, KD1CY