ARRL

ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX004 (2013)

SB SPCL @ ARL $ARLX004
ARLX004 Hurricane Watch Net Seeks New Members for Net Control
Stations

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Special Bulletin 4  ARLX004
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  May 2, 2013
To all radio amateurs 

SB SPCL ARL ARLX004
ARLX004 Hurricane Watch Net Seeks New Members for Net Control
Stations

With the 2013 hurricane season approaching, the National Hurricane
Center (NHC) in Miami and the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) are gearing
up for what could be a very active storm season. In preparation for
the upcoming season, the HWN is currently seeking new members who
can serve as net control stations.

The HWN provides on-the-ground, real-time weather data from Amateur
Radio operators who volunteer their time to monitor their calibrated
home weather stations. The stations report that data to the HWN, who
in turn reports it to WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio station at the NHC.
"The Hurricane Watch Net relies on volunteer operators -- our
members -- who serve as our net control stations," HWN Net Manager
Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, told the ARRL. "HWN members are hams who have
above-average stations, are capable of effectively conducting HF net
operations and are willing to commit their time to operating in
support of the HWN's mission during net activations. The net
sessions can be long and, at times, very stressful."

The HWN primarily operates on 14.325 MHz, but Graves said that given
the current solar activity, the HWN is looking for new members who
can help with net control station duties on the low end of the 40
meter phone band. "If 20 meters goes away, we lose the ability to
effectively communicate with our reporting stations or the NHC," he
said. "By expanding our operation to 40 meters, we can easily change
over when propagation changes."

Graves told the ARRL that the HWN is especially looking for new
members with stations that can effectively communicate with Central
America and the Caribbean, Mexico, the Gulf Coast, the East Coast
and South Texas. "As we head into the 2013 hurricane season, we're
looking for qualified amateurs who are located anywhere within North
America or the Caribbean," he said. "We are also looking for
bilingual hams. We recognize that some Latin American operators
hesitate to check in and send reports to us if they aren't fluent in
English, so we're also interested in hearing from hams who are
fluent in both Spanish and English. When we're working storms that
are either affecting or threatening areas where Spanish is the
language of choice, we always try to have one or more bilingual HWN
members on hand to help with reporting."

While HWN membership is required to serve as a net control station,
radio amateurs do not need to be an HWN member in order to
participate as an HWN reporting station that provides observed or
measured weather reports, or relay assistance as required by HWN net
control. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Hurricane
Watch Net, please visit the Membership Information page on the HWN
website at http://www.hwn.org/.

The Hurricane Watch Net is activated either at the request of the
National Hurricane Center and/or when an Atlantic basin hurricane is
within 300 miles of landfall. Although hurricanes can happen any
time of the year, hurricane season for the Atlantic and Caribbean
runs from June 1-November 30, and usually peaks anywhere from late
August through September. The Pacific hurricane season runs from May
15-November 30.
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