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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB059 (2002)

ARLB059 Hams on duty as Lili hits Cuba

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 59  ARLB059
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  October 1, 2002
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB059 Hams on duty as Lili hits Cuba

Fast on the heels of Hurricane Isidore, Hurricane Lili is striking
Western Cuba. The Hurricane Watch Net and W4EHW at the National
Hurricane Center in Miami again are active to gather ground-level
reports from the affected area via Amateur Radio. W4EHW has been
monitoring both the HWN and Cuban emergency nets.

"Many real-time reports were received last night and this morning on
40 meters directly from the radar station on Punta del Este, Isle of
Youth," said Julio Ripoll, WD4JR, the assistant Amateur Radio
coordinator at W4EHW. "They reported a maximum wind gust of 173 kph
(107 MPH) at 1100z this morning."

The Category 1 storm, sporting sustained winds of nearly 90 MPH,
made landfall October 1 on the southern coast of the Isle of Youth
and was poised to make landfall on the western tip of the Cuban
province of Pinar del Rio later in the day. The National Weather
Service says Lili continues to intensify and could become a Category
2 hurricane.

Projections suggest that Lili now could threaten the US Gulf Coast.
As of 1500z, the storm was some 115 miles southwest of Havana,
moving toward the west-northwest at nearly 13 MPH.

The Hurricane Watch Net re-activated on 14.325 MHz today at 1100z
after spending 14 hours on the air yesterday hampered by poor band
conditions caused by a solar flare and resulting geomagnetic storm.

"With reports coming in from stations on Grand Cayman, Little
Cayman, and Cayman Brac, vital weather data was collected," said
Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, who's filling in this week for HWN Manager
Mike Pilgrim, K5MP. "Cayman Brac had winds from 45 to 50 MPH, and
Little Cayman had winds topping out at 90 MPH. Graves said damage in
Little Cayman included downed trees, power lines and utility poles
as well as minor roof damage and beach erosion.

"Once Lili makes it into the Gulf of Mexico, all eyes will be on the
northwest Gulf Coast," Graves said.

Both the HWN and W4EHW have been recruiting bilingual
(English-Spanish) operators to assist in storm activations such as
the current one that affect primarily Spanish-speaking areas. W4EHW
continues to exchange meteorological data and Spanish advisories
with Cuban amateurs, Ripoll said.

Ripoll said many of the reports received via ham radio have proven
to be valuable to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center.
Additionally, he said, media interest has been very high. W4EHW was
interviewed last night on the Spanish network Telemundo. Miami's NBC
affiliate aired a story that included an interview with NHC Director
Max Mayfield. "Associated Press and CNN also have mentioned ham
radio reports," he said.

Official advisories can be found at the National Hurricane Web site, .  

Information on the Hurricane Watch Net and W4EHW at the National
Hurricane Center in Miami may also be found on the web at and ,


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