Arthur Puts Hurricane Watch Net, WX4NHC on Alert
Arthur, the season’s first Atlantic hurricane, now a Category 1 storm, has prompted the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) to prepare for activation on July 3. Plans call for net operation to get underway on at 1600 UTC on 14.325 MHz. The National Hurricane Center’s WX4NHC will begin operations for Hurricane Arthur on July 3 at 2200 UTC, also on 14.325 MHz. A hurricane warning is in effect for the North Carolina coast, from Surf City to the Virginia border, as well as Pamlico and Eastern Albemarle sounds.
Given the storm’s proximity to land, HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, said the net will initially operate on its primary frequency of 14.325 MHz, switching to 7.268 MHz when 20 meters closes. He noted that these plans are subject to change. The HWN activates whenever a hurricane is forecast to be within 300 statute miles from landfall of any inhabited land mass in the Caribbean Sea, Central America, and the US mainland, including the Gulf of Mexico coastal areas.
Graves said the net will gather surface weather observations and report them directly to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. He reminded those along the North Carolina coast and especially those on the Outer Banks not to focus on the forecast track line. “The storm could easily track either side,” he said. “Once past North Carolina, Arthur appears to have Nova Scotia in its sights for Saturday, and, if so, the Hurricane Watch Net will be active that day as well. Amateur stations in the affected area should be aware of the storm, and be prepared to operate from a place of safety.” Graves asked for cooperation in keeping the net’s frequency clear and listening for possible relays.