WX4NHC National Hurricane Center Annual Station Test Set for May 31
Now in its 34th year, WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, will be on the air Saturday, May 31, for the annual NHC Station Test. The event will begin at 1300 UTC and wrap up at 2200 UTC.
“The purpose of this event is to test Amateur Radio Station equipment, antennas and computers prior to this year’s Hurricane Season, which starts June 1 and runs through November 30,” said WX4NHC Amateur Radio Assistant Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R.
The annual Station Test is not a contest or simulated hurricane exercise. “This event is will be good practice for ham radio operators worldwide as well as for NWS staff to become familiar with Amateur Radio communications available during times of severe weather," Ripoll added. WX4NHC also will perform operator training during the Station Test.
WX4NHC will make brief contacts with participating station on various bands and modes, exchanging signal reports and basic weather data. For example, stations may report “sunny” or “rain” or “cloudy” in describing the conditions at their locations. Ripoll said WX4NHC will operate on HF, VHF, UHF, 2 meter 30 meter APRS, and available via WinLink (subject line must contain “//WL2K”).
“We will try to stay on the recognized Hurricane Watch Net frequency of 14.325 MHz most of the time and announce when we QSY,” Ripoll said. He explained that due to space and equipment limitations, WX4NHC will deploy up to three operators per shift, so the station cannot be everywhere and on every mode simultaneously. “You may be able to find us on HF by using one of the DX spotting networks, such as such as DX Summit,” he suggested.
WX4NHC also plans to be on the VoIP Hurricane Net from 2000 until 2200 UTC (IRLP node 9219; EchoLink WX-TALK Conference node 7203). In addition, the station will be active on South Florida VHF and UHF repeaters.
QSL cards are available to participating stations via WD4R; include a self-addressed stamped envelope. Do not send cards to the National Hurricane Center.
Due to security measures, no visitors will be allowed into the NHC without prior clearance. Only WX4NHC operators on the approved operating schedule will be allowed entry.