The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) has announced plans to activate today (Sunday, September 13) at 2100 UTC on both 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz as Hurricane Paulette is predicted to make landfall on Bermuda early on September 14 as a Category 2 storm. HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, noted that activation plans are subject to change as weather forecasts unfold.
As of 1500 UTC on Sunday, Hurricane Paulette was moving to the northwest toward Bermuda at about 14 MPH, with strong winds, storm surge, and heavy rain expected to begin there by evening, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported. A hurricane warning is in effect for Bermuda. Paulette was some 240 miles southeast of Bermuda, with maximum sustained winds of 80 MPH.
“Monday morning, after landfall, we will do what we can to gather weather data and damage reports while operating on both 20 and 40 meters,” Graves said. “Once we’ve completed operations for Paulette, we will switch gears and begin operations for Sally immediately.
The HWN will be on 20 meters during daylight hours, switching to 40 meters in the evening, although propagation could dictate going to 40 meters during daylight as well.
Tropical Storm Sally is forecast to become a Category 1 hurricane on September 14, with landfall expected on the evening of September 15, somewhere along the coast of Mississippi.
“Of course, should the forecast track be adjusted to the left or right of the current track, landfall timing and location will change,” Graves noted. “Everyone in the forecast path of Sally should follow the directions of local emergency management.
“Once Sally has been downgraded to a tropical storm, we will focus on helping to gather any post-storm reports from the areas that had been hit. This includes the relaying of any emergency or priority traffic.” Graves said that a clear operating frequency would be appreciated during net operations.
“As a reminder, we are always available to provide back-up communication to official agencies such as emergency operations centers, Red Cross officials, and shelters in the affected area,” he said. “We also collect and forward significant damage assessment data to FEMA officials stationed in the National Hurricane Center.”
WX4NHC at the NHC will also activate on Sunday, September 13, at 2100 UTC for Paulette and Sally and will remain activated until 1900 on Tuesday, September 15, monitoring and gathering reports from the HWN on 14.325 and 7.268 MHz and via the VoIP-WX Net on Echolink WXtalk 7203 Conference and IRLP 9219.