ARRL

ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX005 (2011)

SB SPCL @ ARL $ARLX005
ARLX005 Hurricane Watch Net Seeks New Members

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QST de W1AW  
Special Bulletin 5  ARLX005
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  July 12, 2011
To all radio amateurs 

SB SPCL ARL ARLX005
ARLX005 Hurricane Watch Net Seeks New Members

The various organizations that assist the National Hurricane Center
(NHC) in Miami are gearing up for what forecasters are predicting to
be a very active storm season. One organization that assists the NHC
is the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN). One of the functions of HWN is to
provide on-the-ground, real-time weather data to the forecasters at
the NHC. The HWN gets this weather data from Amateur Radio operators
who volunteer their time to monitor data from their calibrated home
weather stations and report that data to the HWN. To better assist
the NHC, HWN Manager Kirk Harding, K6KAR, told the ARRL that the HWN
is looking for new members.

"The Hurricane Watch Net relies on volunteer operators -- our
members -- who serve as our net control stations," Harding said.
"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 HWN net operates on 14.325 MHz, so
prospective members must be able to legally transmit on that
frequency to participate.

Harding said that the HWN is looking for new members with stations
that can effectively communicate with Central America and the
Caribbean, Mexico and South Texas on the 20 meter band. "As we head
into the 2011 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."

Harding explained that the Hurricane Watch Net is generally
activated when a named Atlantic basin storm is within 300 miles of
landfall. Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean runs from June
1-November 30, peaking from late August through September; the
Pacific Ocean season runs from May 15-November 30. Of course,
hurricanes may occur at any time of the year. National Weather
Service's Climate Prediction Center predicts that the 2011 hurricane
season will see above-average activity with 12-18 named storms, with
6-10 of those storms becoming hurricanes. Of these storms, three to
six could develop into major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5). The
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines a
normal hurricane season as having 11 named storms -- including six
hurricanes -- with two becoming major hurricanes.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Hurricane Watch
Net, please visit the HWN website at http://www.hwn.org for further
information.
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