Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays to All from the VoIP Hurricane Net Management Team!
Hello to all..
On behalf of the VoIP Hurricane Net Management Team, we would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays to all. Thanks to all of you for your support of the VoIP Hurricane Net during 2016.
The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season was a more active year for the VoIP Hurricane Net. There were 3 formal activations and 1 informal activation of the VoIP Hurricane Net for the year. The formal VoIP Hurricane Net activations included Hurricane Hermine, Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Nicole. The informal activation was for Hurricane Otto which struck portions of Nicaragua and Honduras on Thanksgiving Day.
Hurricane Hermine struck the Florida panhandle on Thursday September 1st into Friday September 2nd making landfall just east of St Marks, Florida at 140 AM Friday September 2nd. Hermine caused widespread tree and wire damage and power outages in its path with some structural damage to roofs of homes near the coast and from fallen trees on homes. Franklin and Wakulla counties of Florida were some of the hard hit areas and extending around the Big Bend of Florida. In the area of the Big Bend of Florida, power outages were widespread with over 90% of the homes in that area without power at the height of Hermine. Some reports were gathered via formal activation of the VoIP Hurricane Net. Hermine would weaken to a tropical storm and then become a post tropical cyclone. Models struggled with the strength and track of Hermine as she moved off the coast. Eventually, Hermine would cause tropical storm force conditions in Southeast New England as a post tropical cyclone causing conditions typical to a nor’easter with some rainfall and wind gusts in the tropical storm force range with wind gusts as high as 58-60 MPH over the Outer Cape, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard and 40-55 MPH gusts elsewhere in Southeast New England.
Hurricane Matthew was the longest duration and most impactful hurricane to hit land areas including the Southeast United States since Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Matthew caused devastating flash floods and mudslides, storm surge flooding and wind damage in Eastern Cuba and the southwest portion of Haiti with some flooding and issues reported in the Port-Au-Prince region. As Matthew turned up the coast, he caused significant damage, flooding and heavy rainfall across the Bahamas and into East-Central Florida with hurricane force wind gusts and tree damage reported along the East Florida coast and into Southeast Georgia including the Savannah region and then up into Southeast South Carolina and Central and Eastern North Carolina where Matthew caused widespread rainfall of 5-10″ and wind damage along the coast with a landfall in Southeast South Carolina in two different locations in that state. Inland flooding was a major issue across Central and Eastern North Carolina with widespread power outages from tree and power line damage all along the Southeast US coast. Hurricane Matthew caused a week long activation of the VoIP Hurricane Net from Monday October 3rd through Saturday October 8th with informal activation lasting through Sunday Morning October 9th. Many reports were forwarded on via Amateur Radio Operators using any and all means as well as SKYWARN Spotters and storm bloggers through various methods. Many thanks to all the net controls and net management team members which assisted in this hurricane net activation, the longest and most significant since 2012 as mentioned previously.
Hurricane Nicole prompted a day long activation on Thursday October 13th as she passed over Bermuda bringing sustained hurricane force conditions. Reports were sent in from both online weather stations and storm bloggers and social media sources from the island of Bermuda. Bermuda was able to withstand Nicole without major impacts to lives but tree and power line damage and minor structural damage were common along with flooding of various streets on the island. Much of the island of Bermuda was without power at the height of the storm.
Hurricane Otto impacted portions of Nicaragua and Honduras on Thanksgiving Day. Otto was a small and tightly packed but intense hurricane. Its landfall point was over a wildlife reserve refuge area of Nicaragua sparing impact from the winds for the country but the heavy rainfall spread out hundreds of miles from the center and resulted in life-threatening floods and mudslides in Nicaragua in particular and to a lesser extent in Honduras. Due to the lack of paths into this affected area, the VoIP Hurricane Net only activated informally for Nicole.
As occurs yearly, we did support WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center with the WX4NHC Communications Test at the start of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season. As our main client, we appreciate WX4NHC’s support of our net and thank WX4NHC Coordinators, Julio Ripoll-WD4R and John McHugh-K4AG for their support. They have been an incredible partner with the VoIP Hurricane Net dating back to the net’s inception in the 2003-2004 timeframe. We also had another successful SKYWARN Recognition Day event on the home of the VoIP Hurricane Net, Echolink conference: *WX-TALK* Node: 7203/IRLP 9219. Many NWS offices rotated on the system making contacts with Amateur Radio Operators and SKYWARN Spotters from around the country thanking them for their support as well as making contact with different NWS offices around the country.
As we move into next year, we will again have a presence at the 2017 National Hurricane Conference which will be in New Orleans Louisiana. As we move into 2017, we will look at doing training presentations particularly on the non-hurricane season months in 2017 and continue the question of the week format for the weekly nets and possibly do a few training sessions during the weekly nets that we have during the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. We will also look at boosting more stations and contacts within the affected areas of hurricanes to provide critical surface reports to WX4NHC.
We will also update and put out NCO training for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. We would like to ask folks that might be interested to be a net oontrol for the weekly/monthly VoIP Hurricane Prep Net and for net activations to please contact me directly as a reply to this email or at email@example.com
We look forward to working with everyone again in 2017. The next VoIP Hurricane Prep Net will be will be Saturday January 7th, 2017 at 8 PM ET/7 PM CT/6 PM MT/5 PM PT which also equates to 0100 UTC Sunday. The net will meet monthly through May and then become weekly during the Atlantic Hurricane Season. We again wish all of our reporting stations, net controls and supporting stations that listen to the VoIP Hurricane Net a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a Happy Holiday season!
Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net