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SKYWARN Set to Activate in Hawaii as Hurricanes Threaten

08/30/2016

A SKYWARN net will activate on August 31 at noon Hawaii Time (2200 UTC) for Hurricane Madeline. It will continue until September 1 at 10 PM HST (0800 UTC on September 2). KH6SW will be on the air from the National Weather Service (NWS) Honolulu Forecast Office on HF, VHF, and UHF frequencies. A second SKYWARN activation for Hurricane Lester will begin on September 2 at 10 PM (0800 UTC on September 3), continuing until Monday, September 5 at noon (2200 UTC). As of early today in Hawaii, Hurricane Madeline was a Category 3 storm packing maximum sustained winds of 120 MPH. The present movement is to the west at 9 MPH, and located approximately 433 miles from Hilo.

“The present track will bring it to south of the Big Island,” Hawaii Section Emergency Coordinator and Hawaii SKYWARN Ham Coordinator Clem Jung, KH7HO, said. “A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Big Island.” Jung said a Flash Flood Watch also is in place for Wednesday through Thursday night.

“Deep moisture associated with Hurricane Madeline is expected to impact the Big Island beginning Wednesday morning, bringing the threat for heavy rainfall and flooding through Thursday night,” he reported. “Additional islands may need to be added to the Flash Flood Watch, depending on the track of the hurricane.”

KH6SW will operate on these repeaters/frequencies:

  • 146.660 (EARC, Windward Oahu)
  • 146.760 (DEM RACES, Peackcock Flat, North Shore Oahu)
  • 146.800 (EARC, Manakapu, Oahu)
  • 146.880 (DEM RACES, Diamond Head)
  • 146.980 (DEM RACES, Downtown Honolulu)
  • 147.060 (State RACES, Diamond Head)
  • 444.350 (State RACES, Diamond Head)

Jung said the 444.325 RACES repeater at Waimanalo is down, as is the RACES interisland link. Inter-island communication will primarily be on HF. The primary HF frequency is 7.080 USB; the secondary is 3.888 LSB. “We will be on voice and Fldigi MT63-1KL,” Jung said.

“Please listen to the SKYWARN Net Control Station as to instructions and what weather reports are requested,” Jung advised net participants. “If you have significant weather to report, give your call sign, your name, what you are reporting, the location of the significant weather event, and the time it occurred.” Jung said “significant weather” could include heavy flooding; heavy rains’ road closures due to flooding, landslides, or storm surges; hail; funnel clouds, and strong wind. Jung said that the net will only accept “significant weather” reports.

“Remember your safety is primary. Do not go out into the storm to get a report. Safety, safety, safety comes first,” he stressed. If you haven't yet, please charge your batteries and test out your ham gear. Make sure you have a minimum of 7 days of food and water, a family emergency plan and a communication plan. Make plans for your pets.”

He also recommended topping off vehicles and generators, checking out battery-operated gear, and make sure of spares. “Be informed by listening to your radio and TV for the latest information on the hurricanes and possible hurricane evacuation shelters which will be open near you. Bring your radio if you need to evacuate to a shelter.”

As of 1500 UTC, Hurricane Lester, a Category 3 storm, was located about 1355 miles east of Hilo, Hawaii, with maximum sustained winds of 120 MPH. Lester is moving west at 14 MPH. At present, no coastal watches or warnings are in effect.

    



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