In response to Tropical Storm Zeta, WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center in Miami will activate at 0000 UTC on October 27 (the evening of October 26 in North American time zones) to monitor 14.325 and 7.268 MHZ as well as the VoIP Hurricane Net and other resources. WX4NHC requests surface reports from stations or vessels in the affected area, with or without weather data for use by NHC Forecasters. Reports may be filed using the WX4NHC online Hurricane Report Form.
“The NHC appreciates all the surface reports from the affected area during hurricanes, as they fill in gaps [in] weather data and give [forecasters] a real-time first person perspective of what is actually happening on the ground,” said NHC Assistant Amateur Radio Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R.
As of 2130 UTC, the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) was in Alert Level 3, Standby Mode. This indicates that the net is keeping an eye on a tropical system or hurricane that could affect its area of interest within the next 48 hours.
As of 1800 UTC, the NHC reported that Tropical Storm Zeta was headed for Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Zeta was some 120 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 70 MPH, moving northwest at 10 MPH. The NHC predicts some strengthening before Zeta makes landfall.
Louisiana ARES is set to go on ALERT status at 7 PM CDT, Monday, October 26, transitioning to STANDBY status at a time consistent with conditions. After a request for ACTIVATION has been received from local emergency management officials or served agencies, Emergency Coordinators will activate ARES within their parishes and notify the DEC and SEC. SEC and DECs may activate a Region, if additional human resources are needed to support ECs that have activated at the parish level.
The Louisiana ARES Emergency Net status will be announced at approximately 9 PM CDT, Tuesday, October 27. Frequencies for the Louisiana ARES Emergency Net are 7.255 MHz days, 3.878 MHz nights.
Emergency communications kits from ARRL Headquarters have been pre-positioned in Louisiana in preparation for this event. ARRL Emergency Management Director Paul Stewart, KE5ZW, has contacted ARES leadership in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida to offer such assistance as HamAid, if needed.