Hurricane Watch Net Stands Down, Reactivates as Joaquin Nears Bermuda


After standing down but remaining in “standby alert mode,” the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) has reactivated as Hurricane Joaquin, now downgraded to a category 3 storm, poses a threat to Bermuda. Although the storm has not made landfall, but it has been causing heavy rainfall along the southeastern coast of the US, and a state of emergency has been declared in South Carolina. The storm has been blamed for five deaths. The Hurricane Watch Net suspended its initial activation on October 2, after 3 days of near-continuous operation, then reactivated briefly the next morning to gather any post-storm reports and relay any emergency or priority traffic. Now the net has activated again as Joaquin is poised to pass Bermuda.

“Seems like only yesterday we were getting ready for Hurricane Gonzalo to threaten Bermuda — a strong Cat 3 Hurricane,” HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, said. Gonzalo hit Bermuda head on, and Graves said a similar situation exists this year with Joaquin heading in the same direction. The HWN reactivated October 4 at 1200 UTC, “given the uncertainty of the current forecast track,” Graves said, and will remain active until the island of Bermuda is no longer threatened.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Joaquin at 1500 UTC was predicted to pass just west of Bermuda, causing “damaging winds” on the island. The storm was located about 150 miles southwest of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds of 110 MPH, moving north-northeast at 17 MPH.

“Our plans are to operate on 14.325.00 MHz USB until 0100 UTC, or earlier if required, and move to our nighttime frequency of 7.268 MHz LSB,” Graves said. “Throughout this event, we remind everyone that we are also available to provide backup communications facilities to official agencies such as emergency operations centers and Red Cross officials in the affected area.” He said the net also is interested in significant damage reports to forward to FEMA officials at the National Hurricane Center.

Visit the HWN website for more information on the storm and the nets activation status.