The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN), WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center (NHC), and The Salvation Army’s SATERN have announced activations for Hurricane Delta, the latest Atlantic storm. The HWN moved to its Alert Level 4 on Wednesday and is now running on 14.325 MHz. WX4NHC monitors the same frequency to gather “ground truth” reports from radio amateurs that may assist NHC forecasters.
As of 1200 UTC, the NHC warned that Delta was bringing “a life-threatening storm surge and strong winds” to the northeastern portions of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where it made landfall at 1030 UTC. Maximum sustained winds from Delta were clocked at 105 MPH, making it a Category 2 hurricane. The storm was some 35 miles west of Cancun, Mexico, moving northwest at 17 MPH.
HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, said the net got off to a late start because it lacked propagation into the affected area overnight, both on 20 and 40 meters (the net’s secondary frequency is 7.268 MHz). The net anticipates remaining in operation for most of Wednesday, before taking a break and resuming operations on Friday at 1200 UTC on 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz. Graves said the net plans to remain in full operation until around midnight CDT.
Delta is currently forecast to be a Category 2 or Category 3 hurricane when it makes landfall on the US Gulf Coast, somewhere south of Lafayette, Louisiana, on Friday afternoon.
WX4NHC is active on both HWN frequencies, as well as on the VoIP Hurricane Net, requesting surface reports from stations in the affected area “with or without weather data for use by NHC forecasters,” Assistant WXNHC Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R, said. WinLink to firstname.lastname@example.org, with “//WL2K” in the subject line. WX4NHC also has an online Hurricane Report Form.
“NHC appreciates all the surface reports from the affected area during hurricanes as they fill in gaps of not just weather data, but also give a real-time, first-person perspective of what is actually happening on the ground,” Ripoll said.
The International SATERN SSB Net and the Southern Territory SATERN SSB Net plans to activate for Hurricane Delta Thursday through Saturday on 14.265 MHz (alternate 14.312 MHz). The Southern Territory SATERN SSB Net on 7.265 MHz will activate Thursday and again on Friday at 1900 UTC.