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Dorian Gains Hurricane Status, Forecast to Strengthen into Major Storm

08/28/2019

Amateur Radio resources are in position as now-Category 1 Hurricane Dorian gradually moves away from the northeastern Caribbean. It is expected to become a “dangerous hurricane” in the western Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center said in its 2100 UTC update. Dorian is about 45 miles northwest of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, with maximum sustained winds of 80 MPH and moving northwest at 14 MPH.

The storm could make landfall along the southeastern Florida coast.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Vieques and Culebra, the US Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands. A Hurricane Watch and a Tropical Storm Warning are in effect for Puerto Rico.

“Dorian should continue to move near or over the US and British Virgin Islands during the next several hours and then move over the Atlantic well east of the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday and Friday,” the National Hurricane Center said. “Dorian is forecast to strengthen and become a powerful hurricane during the next few days over the Atlantic waters.”

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) is active on 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz and will remain in operation until further notice, working in conjunction with WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center in Miami to provide “ground truth” weather data to forecasters from net participants. WX4NHC activated today at 1500 UTC.

The ARRL Headquarters Emergency Response Team has been meeting and is monitoring the situation closely. ARRL officials are in regular communication with partner agencies, particularly FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. In addition, ARRL HQ remains in close contact with Field Organization officials in Puerto Rico and Florida. Some Ham Aid equipment from ARRL was previously positioned in the region.

W1AW, which had already planned to be in operation for the Hiram Percy Maxim 150th Birthday special event this weekend, will remain ready to assist with emergency communications. 

Over the weekend, Puerto Rico’s Emergency Management Agency (PREMA) urged the island’s residents to gather necessary supplies such as water and food. The government of Puerto Rico has assured the public that it’s better prepared than it was for Hurricanes Irma and Maria 2 years ago. Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, has alerted ARRL members there that the Red Cross will be active during the emergency. 



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