Storm Spotters on the Lookout for Tropical Storm Tomas
With Tropical Storm Tomas expected to move through the Caribbean over the next 48 hours, WX4NHC -- the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) -- will activate at 9 AM (EDT) on Friday, November 5. Hurricane Warnings have been issued for Haiti, Guantanamo, Cuba and the Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Tropical Storm Warnings have also been issued Jamaica and the Cuban provinces of Santiago de Cuba and Holguin.
As of 11 AM (EDT) on Thursday, November 4, NHC officials are forecasting that Tomas should turn toward the north-northeast and northeast, increasing in forward speed within the next 48 hours. The storm’s center will pass near Jamaica or Haiti Thursday night, near or over extreme Eastern Cuba on Friday and near or over the Southeastern Bahamas late Friday and Friday night. Tomas has maximum sustained winds near 50 MPH with higher gusts, with some strengthening expected during the next 48 hours.
WX4NHC will be monitoring the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) on 14.325 MHz, which according to HWN Acting Net Manager Marty Wilson, W5PES, will activate at 8 AM (EDT) on Friday, November 5. Secondary HF frequencies will be 7.268 MHz and 3.950 MHz +/- QRM, should propagation be lost on 20 meters. WX4NHC is also monitoring CWOP, APRS and MADIS/MESONET automated weather stations in the affected area, as well as EchoLink “WX-Talk” Conference Room and IRLP node 9219. Surface reports using WX4NHC’s Online Hurricane Report form are also being 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 Coordinator John McHugh, K4AG. “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.”