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Hurricane Watch Net, VoIP Hurricane Net and WX4NHC to Activate for Paloma

11/07/2008

As Hurricane Paloma, a Category 1 hurricane, makes its way through the Caribbean, WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center, the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) and the VoIP Hurricane Net (VoIPWXNet) plan to activate. According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Paloma is expected to make a gradual turn toward the northeast Friday night and into Saturday, with the center of Paloma passing near the Cayman Islands late Friday or early Saturday and approaching the coast of central Cuba late Saturday. As of 10 AM EST on Friday, November 7, Paloma's center is about 75 miles south-southwest of Grand Cayman and about 245 miles west of Montego Bay, Jamaica.

HWN and WX4NHC are set to activate at 6 PM Friday. The VoIP Hurricane Net will activate in an informal mode Friday afternoon and will likely go into a formal mode later that afternoon into the night.

HWN Manager Dave Lefavour, W7GOX, said the Net will operate on their usual frequency of 14.325 MHz. "We will be providing the latest storm bulletins and collecting real time weather data from hams in the affected area for relay to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida," Lefavour said. "The Net plans to operate until the band closes due to propagation loss. This schedule is subject to change depending on storm forecast wind and track predictions."

WX4NHC will be monitoring the Hurricane Watch Net on 14.325 MHz. Secondary HF frequencies will be 7.268 MHz and 3.950 MHz +/- QRM, should we lose propagation on 20 meters. EchoLink "WX-Talk" Conference Room and IRLP node 9219 will also be monitored. WX4NHC will also monitor CWOP, APRS and MADIS/MESONET Automated weather stations in the affected area. Surface Reports using our Online Hurricane Report form will be monitored.

"We request all land based stations, as well as ships at sea in the areas affected, to send us weather data (measured or estimated) and damage reports," said WX4NHC Assistant Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R. "If you are in the affected area and normally monitor on a local Net on VHF, 40 or 80 meters, we would appreciate your checking into the HWN NET or EchoLink/IRLP Net once per hour to receive the latest Hurricane Advisories and to report your local conditions."

The National Weather Service reported that Paloma is strengthening and the storm is expected to reach Category 2 status late Friday, possibly reaching Category 3 intensity by Saturday.



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