Hurricane Watch Net Shuts Down after 21 Hours of Activation for First 2014 Atlantic Hurricane
The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) closed operations for Hurricane Arthur — by then a tropical cyclone -- headed out over the Canadian Maritimes around mid-day on July 5. The HWN first activated for Arthur on Thursday, July 3, as the storm threatened to make landfall along North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The net moved to 40 meters (7268 MHz), after propagation was lost on its primary 14.325 MHz frequency. The first activation lasted 18 hours. The HWN activated again on Saturday, July 5, at 1100 UTC, as Hurricane Arthur, still a Category 1 storm, worked its way up the Eastern Seaboard headed for Canada.
“This storm seemed to be mainly a heavy rain and strong wind event, unlike the Category 1 landfall of Sandy in 2012. Thankfully, Arthur weakened to a tropical storm a few hours prior to [our] activating and was downgraded further to a post-tropical cyclone at 1200 UTC,” said HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV. “Reports from CANWARN indicated nearly 84,000 lost power in Nova Scotia and nearly 59,000 in New Brunswick.” CANWARN — the (CANadian Weather Amateur Radio Network — is Canada’s equivalent of the SKYWARN program in the US. The storm also generated heavy rain and high winds along the coast of Maine, blowing down trees and limbs leaving thousands of homes in the dark. The net stood down at 1400 UTC.
“We were able to link the National Hurricane Center and the Canadian Hurricane Center together by means of our Internet back channel,” Graves noted. “This link not only allows direct communication between forecasters at each center but also the forecasters with our net control operators.”
Although the number of reporting stations was low for this initial activation of the 2014 Hurricane Season, Graves said the HWN was “grateful for all reports that came in.” He said forecasters base their advisories on what is happening on the surface, and that all surface reports, measured or estimated, are extremely helpful. “Our sincere thanks to all who use 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz for allowing us a clear frequency to help those affected by Arthur.”
Graves said that while no one wants their weekend, holiday or otherwise, ruined by a hurricane or tropical storm, nature doesn’t care about the calendar. “Thankfully, there have not been any reports of injuries or fatalities as of this posting,” he added. “Considering that this is supposed to be an El Niño year, hopefully this will be the one and only storm of this Atlantic Hurricane season.”