• Tropical Storm Hilary: Amateur Radio Activates

    From ARRL de WD1CKS@VERT/WLARB to QST on Sun Aug 20 16:52:45 2023

    Amateur Radio operators activated on Sunday, August 20, 2023 to provide communications and information for Tropical Storm Hilary[1]. As of mid-morning Sunday, the system was moving up the Baja Peninsula of Mexico, expected to cross into Southern California. Heavy rains were falling in San Diego, and local media reported that 250 airline flights had been canceled.

    Amateur radio operations began Sunday morning. The WX4NHC amateur radio station at the National Hurricane Center[2] was on air. "WX4NHC will be on the air on the Hurricane Watch Net frequency 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz depending on propagation. We will also be on VoIP Hurricane Net (IRLP node 9219 / EchoLink WX-TALK Conference node 7203). http://www.voipwx.net/[3] We will also be monitoring WinLink reports via wx4nhc@winlink.org (subject line must contain //WL2K.)." Wrote WX4NHC Amateur Radio Assistant Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R.

    The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN)[4] was also activated Sunday morning. "We will remain active until our services are no longer required. This system does have a good chance of crossing into California as a Tropical Storm. If so, it will be the first Tropical Storm to hit California since 1939," wrote net manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV.

    HWN seeks reports to relay to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. They have operators who are fluent in English and Spanish to take reports. "Such weather information we look for is maximum sustained winds, winds gusts, wind direction, barometric pressure, rainfall amount - how much over x-amount of time, storm surge, and damage. Should you have any outgoing Health and Welfare Traffic before, during, or after this event, we are happy to assist as we work closely with the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN)," wrote Graves.

    HWN also exists to provide backup communications to official agencies such as emergency operations centers, Red Cross officials, and storm shelters in the affected area and relays damage reports.

    The primary frequencies the net uses center on 14.325.00 MHz and 7.268.00 MHz, depending on propagation. HWN thanks radio amateurs for yielding those frequencies during operation "It certainly makes our job easier, and I know those in the affected area appreciate it as well," said Graves.

    ARRL will continue to monitor the situation and update this page. HQ staff members are in contact with WX4NHC, The Hurricane Watch Net, and VoIP Hurricane Net officials.

    [1] https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_ep4+shtml/150034.shtml?gm_track [2] https://w4ehw.fiu.edu/
    [3] https://www.voipwx.net/
    [4] https://www.hwn.org/

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