National Hurricane Center’s WX4NHC Schedules On-The-Air Station Test
The annual WX4NHC On-the-Air Station Test from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami will take place Saturday, June 4, 1300-2100 UTC (9 AM – 5 PM EDT). “The purpose of this annual station test is to test all of our radio equipment, computers and antennas using as many modes and frequencies as possible in preparation for this year’s hurricane season,” said WX4NHC Assistant Amateur Radio Volunteer Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R. “This is not a contest or simulated hurricane exercise.”
WX4NHC will be on the air on HF, VHF and UHF, plus 2 and 30 meter APRS. Suggested SSB frequencies are 3.950, 7.268, 14.325, 21.325 and 28.525 MHz, +/-QRM. Ripoll said that WX4NHC will mostly be on 14.325 MHz, but will make announcements when the station changes frequencies. WX4NHC also will be on the VoIP Hurricane Net 1700-1900 UTC (IRLP node 9219/EchoLink WX-TALK Conference) and on South Florida area VHF/UHF repeaters and simplex. Stations looking to participate in the annual station test may be able WX4NHC on HF by using one of the DX spotting networks, such as the DX Summit website.
Stations working WX4NHC exchange call sign, signal report, location and name, plus a brief weather report, such as “sunny,” “rain” or “cloudy.” Non-hams may submit their actual weather using the On-Line Hurricane Report Form. QSL cards will be available. QSL via WD4R and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Do not send cards to the NHC. Due to security measures, no visitors will be allowed at NHC during the test.
The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season begins Wednesday, June 1 and goes through November 30. According to the NHC, forecasters are calling for an “above average” hurricane season this year.