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Hurricane Watch Net Goes Back on Duty as Another Storm Heads for the Gulf Coast


[UPDATED 2020-10-28 @ 1845 UTC] As the Gulf Coast braces for yet another hurricane, the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) has announced plans to activate on Wednesday morning at 1500 UTC on 14.325 MHz for Hurricane Zeta. Simultaneous operation on 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz will begin at 2100 UTC. Once activated, the net will remain in operation on 14.325 MHz for as long as propagation permits and will remain on 7.268 MHz until Zeta has been downgraded to a tropical storm or propagation is lost, whichever occurs first.

Zeta is the third major storm in the region so far this hurricane season, and it is forecast to be a Category 1 hurricane when it makes landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast of southeastern Louisiana late on October 28. As of 1200 UTC on Wednesday, October 28, Zeta was continuing to strengthen. Life-threatening storm surge and strong winds are expected today along portions of the northern Gulf Coast beginning around mid-day, according to the National Hurricane Center. Zeta was some 265 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and some 295 miles south-southwest of New Orleans, with maximum sustained winds of 90 MPH, moving to the north at 17 MPH.

WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami will activate again at 1600 UTC on Wednesday, October 28. WX4NHC will monitor 14.325 and 7.268 MHz as well as with the VoIP Hurricane Net (VoIP WX) via Echolink, Winlink, APRS, and other resources. The station will work with these and HWN in gathering weather data from net participants in the affected regions. 

“Please relay any reports from stations or ships at sea in the affected area with or without weather data for use by NHC forecasters,” said Assistant Amateur Radio Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R. The WX4NHC online Hurricane Report Form is available on the WX4NHC website.

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) teams in Louisiana went on alert yesterday. ARES is expected to transition to standby status according to weather conditions, and will only activate at the request of local emergency management officials or served agencies. At midday on Wednesday, the Louisiana Emergency Net was placed on active standby status on 3.878 and 7.255 MHz.



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