Register Account

Login Help

ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX009 (2022)

ARLX009 Amateur Radio Operators Track Hurricane Fiona

QST de W1AW  
Special Bulletin 9  ARLX009
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  September 23, 2022
To all radio amateurs 

ARLX009 Amateur Radio Operators Track Hurricane Fiona

The National Hurricane Center (NHC), the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN),
the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Hurricane Net, and the
Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) all have been
engaged in tracking Hurricane Fiona.

Amateur radio operators have been reporting weather conditions since
Monday, September 19, 2022, and have received positive feedback on
their assistance. The VoIP Hurricane Net was active for 14
continuous hours on Sunday, September 18, for Hurricane Fiona, as it
pummeled the southern and southwestern portions of Puerto Rico with
catastrophic rainfall and flooding with hurricane-force conditions.

In the ARRL Puerto Rico Section, Public Information Coordinator
(PIC) Angel L. Santana-Diaz, WP3GW, who lives in Trujillo Alto,
reported a widespread blackout as the hurricane made landfall on the
island. Still, he explained, there were ham radio repeaters that
remained on the air with amateurs sharing reports of damage,
including downed trees and power poles, and roofs ripped from homes.
ARRL Member Pedro S. Labayen, KP4DKE, of Utuado, was mentioned in a
Miami Herald article for reporting the significant damage to his
rural and mountainous region of the island.

The NHC has issued advisories for Hurricane Fiona and Tropical Storm
Gaston. Marine warnings are also in effect for the Caribbean and the
Southwest Atlantic. As of 2:00 PM EDT (1800 UTC) on Thursday,
September 22, the NHC reported that Hurricane Fiona is forecast to
pass just west of Bermuda by late Thursday evening, approach Nova
Scotia on Friday, and move across Nova Scotia and into the Gulf of
St. Lawrence on Saturday. Fiona is a category 4 hurricane with
maximum sustained winds near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts.

In advance of the hurricane, the Radio Society of Bermuda activated
their Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) on Wednesday, September
21, at 1:43 PM ET and plans to have 14 active amateurs monitoring
the hurricane network. Plans are to use local repeaters, unless
there's a power loss, then they'll switch to simplex. They're
currently monitoring 14.283 MHz and will continue to monitor that

The HWN will be activated on Thursday, September 22, at 5:00 PM
EDT/AST (2100 UTC) on the primary frequency of 14.325 MHz.
Activation for the 40-meter net on 7.268 MHz will be at 7:00 PM
EDT/AST (2300 UTC). The net will be on 20 meters for as long as
propagation will allow and will remain active on 40 meters until
it's no longer required, or propagation goes away.

However, should Hurricane Fiona make direct landfall, operations
will resume on Friday, September 23, at 9:00 AM EDT/AST (1300 UTC)
to assist with post-storm reports and any outgoing health and
welfare traffic, which would be directed toward SATERN.

HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, offered some suggestions for
amateur radio operators contacting the net.

"We look for reporting stations that can provide us with any
measured or estimated weather information that we can relay directly
to the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Such
weather information we look for is maximum sustained winds, wind
gusts, wind direction, barometric pressure, and rainfall amount --
how much over x-amount of time, storm surge, and damage," Graves
said. "Also, should you have any outgoing health and welfare traffic
before, during, or after this event, we are happy to assist as we
work closely with the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network."

Graves also said, as a reminder, the HWN is available to provide
backup communications to official agencies, such as Emergency
Operations Centers, American Red Cross officials, and storm shelters
in the affected area. They also collect and forward significant
damage assessment data to government and non-government officials.

Amateur radio operators who want to monitor or participate in the
hurricane nets should visit these two useful and informative links:

The Hurricane Watch Net - Useful Links:

VoIP Hurricane Net:


Instragram     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     LinkedIn