As the Gulf Coast braces for yet another hurricane, the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) has announced plans to activate on Wednesday morning at 1500 UTC on 14.325 MHz for Hurricane Zeta. Simultaneous operation on 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz will begin at 2100 UTC. Once activated, the net will remain in operation on 14.325 MHz for as long as propagation permits and will remain on 7.268 MHz until Zeta has been downgraded to a tropical storm or propagation is lost, whichever occurs first.
Zeta is the third major storm in the region so far this hurricane season, and it is forecast to be a Category 1 hurricane when it makes landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast of southeastern Louisiana late on October 28 with sustained winds of 85 MPH with higher gusts. As of 1800 UTC on Tuesday, Tropical Storm Zeta was some 485 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River, with maximum sustained winds of 65 MPH. It’s moving to the northwest at 14 MPH.
WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami will activate again at 1600 UTC on Wednesday, October 28. WX4NHC will monitor 14.325 and 7.268 MHz as well as with the VoIP Hurricane Net (VoIP WX) via Echolink, Winlink, APRS, and other resources. The station will work with these and HWN in gathering weather data from net participants in the affected regions.
“Please relay any reports from stations or ships at sea in the affected area with or without weather data for use by NHC forecasters,” said Assistant Amateur Radio Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R. The WX4NHC online Hurricane Report Form is available on the WX4NHC website.
Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) teams in Louisiana went on alert yesterday. ARES is expected to transition to standby status according to weather conditions, and will only activate at the request of local emergency management officials or served agencies.