Start of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Hello to all…

Today, June 1st, marks the start of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. NWS Taunton has sent out a Public Information Statement regarding the start of the season including storm names, some Southern New England Hurricane History and tropical system safety tips. The National Hurricane Center has now started issuing their Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlooks and have provided info on storm names and their various products. Details at the following links:

National Hurricane Center – Start of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season – Tropical Weather Outlook and Overview of Products:
http://www.voipwx.net/files/two_atl_nhc_hurricane_season_start_2017.txt

It never hurts to have preparations in place and review safety rules prior to any impending tropical system affecting your region. This info can help you stay informed and understand products issued by the National Hurricane Center and your local National Weather Service or National Metorological service and prepare properly if your area is affected by a tropical system. Remember that the impacts of tropical systems can reach inland locations as well. For safety tips, seasonal forecasts and other information, please see the National Hurricane Center web site at the following link:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

The National Hurricane Center also has a social media presence. That information is also available via their web site.

Remember also that we will post National Hurricane Center advisory information as links along the main menu of the voipwx.net web site as the systems are classified. This information is also posted on our voipwxnet Facebook and Twitter feeds.

We hope for a season where coastal areas are not impacted by significant tropical systems. That said, the VoIP Hurricane Net Management team stands ready to activate the VoIP Hurricane Net as required for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Thanks to all for their continued support of the VoIP Hurricane Net!

73,Rob-KD1CY.
Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net

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WX4NHC presents award to NHC Director Dr. Rick Knabb at Hurricane Hunters Tour

Hello to all…

From Julio Ripoll-WD4R, Assistant WX4NHC Coordinator, a story on an award presented to now former Director of the National Hurricane Center, Dr Rick Knabb, by the Amateur Radio team at WX4NHC the Amateur Radio station at the National Hurricane Center. Dr Knabb is now at The Weather Channel. Photos provided by Julio-WD4R are on the VoIP Hurricane Net Facebook page.

Report on Our WX4NHC Appreciation Award to NHC Director Dr. Rick Knabb

The Amateur Radio Group at the National Hurricane Center WX4NHC presented NHC Director Dr. Rick Knabb with an award of appreciation during the Hurricane Hunters Tour. Dr. Knabb had announced his departure from NHC to join The Weather Channel.

Dr. Knabb will be greatly missed at NHC, especially by the volunteer Amateur Radio Operators at WX4NHC, who enjoyed many years of his welcome and support. Rick’s smile and enthusiasm was always contagious.

His positive communications with the public; exemplary. The “Hurricane Hams” at WX4NHC wish Dr. Knabb all the best of success.

Thanks to all for the continued support of the VoIP Hurricane Net!

73,Rob-KD1CY.
Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net

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WX4NHC Annual Station Test Event Report – Saturday May 27th, 2017

Hello to all…

The Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center, WX4NHC, Annual station test report has been received from Julio Ripoll-WD4R, Assistant WX4NHC Coordinator. His report is posted below. Pictures from the station event are posted on the VoIP Hurricane Net Facebook page. We appreciate everyone who checked into the Annual station test whether it be on our system via Echolink/IRLP or HF, VHF and the many other modes used in the station test. Below is the WX4NHC Annual Station Test Event Report from Assistant WX4NHC Coordinator, WD4R-Julio Ripoll:

WX4NHC Annual Station Test Event Report – Saturday May 27th, 2017

We had a very successful WX4NHC Radio Station Test yesterday (Saturday May 27th, 2017). All of our radio and computer equipment and new main HF Dipole antenna worked well. We feel that our equipment will perform well if needed during this hurricane season.

We logged a total of 196 communications contacts throughout the US, Canada, Caribbean and Europe. Total time on-the-air was about 8 hours and we used all of the communications modes available at our station; HF, VHF, UHF, several digital radio modes (EchoLink, IRLP, DMR, D-Star, D-RATS) and digital HF messaging (Winlink).

We tested the Florida Statewide SARNet network which connects more than 26 VHF/UHF Repeaters and EOC Offices. Our UHF Repeater at FIU campus is part of the SARNet system, that is sponsored by the State of Florida DOT. We contacted Several stations throughout all parts of Florida from Miami, Tampa to Tallahassee State EOC.

Some of our interesting contacts:

Canadian Hurricane Center VE1MBR (Bob Robichaud), Halifax, Nova Scotia, where it was 50F; it was 93F in Miami at that time. Bob sends many thanks for the great cooperation between the Hurricane Centers and WX4NHC during Hurricane Season. Lafayette, LA EOC, Slidell NWS, San Juan PR EOC, and as far as Germany and Tel Aviv Israel.

Rob KD1CY operated Net Control for the VoIP Hurricane Net from WA1EMA at  Acushnet, Mass Emergency Management Agency. The Asst. Director of Acushnet EMA (Ed KA1RSY) also took time to make a contact and send his cool regards (it was 64F up there and we were still hot in Miami).

Many of our contacts were with individual Amateur Radio Operators that volunteer as Skywarn Spotters for their local NWS offices and also participate in the Hurricane Watch Net on HF during hurricanes. One of them “Debbie” WX9VOR from Aurora, IL was very active relaying surface reports during Hurricane Mathew last year.

Thanks again to everyone that participated in our annual WX4NHC Pre-Hurricane Season station test.

We hope our services are not needed during this hurricane season. But if needed, we are ready to provide NHC backup communications and ready to receive those important Surface Reports from stations inside the hurricane.

Your Surface Report or your Relay can make a big difference.

73, Julio – WD4R

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-
Julio Ripoll Architect WD4R
WX4NHC Amateur Radio Asst. Coordinator
www.wx4nhc.org
Celebrating 37 years at the
National Hurricane Center
www.nhc.noaa.gov
-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

Thanks to all for their continued support of WX4NHC and the VoIP Hurricane Net!

73,Rob-KD1CY.
Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net

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2017 WX4NHC Annual On-Air Communications Station Test

Hello to all…

Please see the announcement on the WX4NHC On-Air Communications Test for this Saturday May 27th, 2017. WX4NHC will be on the *WX_TALK* Echolink conference node: 7203/IRLP 9219 system between 4-5 PM EDT/2000-2100 UTC Saturday and on other frequencies and modes throughout the day.

Announcement from WX4NHC
Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center, Miami Florida

WX4NHC will be On-The-Air for the Annual Station Test
Saturday, May 27th , 2017 from 9AM- 5 PM EDT (1300z- 2100z)
This will be our 37th year of public service at NHC.

The purpose of this event is to test Amateur Radio Station equipment,
antennas and computers prior to this year’s Hurricane Season, which starts
June 1st and runs through November 30th.

This event is good practice for Ham Radio Operators world-wide as well as
NWS Staff to become familiar with Amateur Radio communications available
during times of severe weather.

We will be making brief contacts on many frequencies and modes, exchanging
signal reports and basic weather data exchange (“Sunny”, or “Rain”, etc.)
with any station in any location.

WX4NHC will be On-The-Air on HF, VHF, UHF , 2 & 30 meter APRS and WinLink
wx4nhc@winlink.org subject must contain “//WL2K”.
We will try to stay on the Hurricane Watch Net frequency 14.325 MHz most of
the time.

Due to space and equipment limitations, we will have 2 operators per shift,
we cannot be everywhere and every mode at the same time.
You may be able to find us on HF by using one of the DX Spotting Networks,
Such as the DX Summit Web Site: http://www.dxsummit.fi/Search.aspx

We will also be on VoIP Hurricane Net 4pm-5pm EDT (2000-2100z)
(IRLP node 9219 / EchoLink WX-TALK Conference node 7203). http://www.voipwx.net/

Florida VHF & UHF Repeaters will be contacted.

QSL Cards are available via WD4R.
Please send your card with a S.A.S.E.
Please do NOT send QSLs directly to the Hurricane Center address, as it will
get delayed.

Due to security measures;
NO VISITORS will be allowed entry to NHC without prior clearance from NHC
PIO and Security.
Only WX4NHC Operators on the pre-approved operating schedule will be allowed
entry.

For more information about WX4NHC, please visit our website
www.wx4nhc.org

Thank you for your participation in the WX4NHC Annual Station Test event.

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-
Julio Ripoll Architect WD4R
WX4NHC Amateur Radio Asst. Coordinator
www.wx4nhc.org
Celebrating 37 years at the
National Hurricane Center
www.nhc.noaa.gov

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

Thanks to all for their continued support of the VoIP Hurricane Net!

73,Rob-KD1CY.
Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net

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National Hurricane Conference Amateur Radio Workshop Sessions To Be Livestreamed – Wednesday 4/19/17

Hello to all…

The National Hurricane Conference Amateur Radio Workshop sessions (this year being held in New Orleans Louisiana) will be livestreamed on Wednesday April 19th, 2017. The livestream links will be as follows:

http://www.nsradio.org/stream
http://www.voipwx.net/files/stream.htm

Wednesday, April 19 — 08:30-10:00 CDT*
8:30     Opening Remarks (5 Minutes – Presented by Rob Macedo – KD1CY)
8:35     Canadian Hurricane Centre and Hurricane Meteorological Topics (30 Minutes – Presented by Bob Robichaud-VE1MBR, Canadian Hurricane Centre)
9:05     WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio Station at the NHC (30 Minutes – Presented by Julio Ripoll – WD4R)
9:35     The Hurricane Watch Net, Personal Weather Stations, Backup Power, & Antenna Overview (30 Minutes – Presented by Bobby Graves – KB5HAV)
10:05    ARRL Update (15 Minutes – Presented by Matt Anderson – KD5KNZ / LA ARRL Asst. SM)

—> NOTE:  Speakers will be on a break from 10:20-10:30 CDT

Wednesday, April 19 — 10:30-12:00  CDT*
10:30     Importance of Amateur Radio / Spotter Surface Reports (25 Minutes – Presented by NHC Director Dr. Rick Knabb)
11:00     The VoIP Hurricane Net and Best Practices in SKYWARN for Tropical Systems (30 Minutes – Presented by Rob Macedo – KD1CY)
11:30     SATERN Presentation (30 Minutes – Presented by Bill Feist – WD8BZH)
11:50     Q&A Panel with Door Prizes (20 Minutes – Presented by all members of the panel)

—> NOTE:  Sessions end at 12:15 CDT

We hope folks can join the livestream Wednesday 4/19/17. If people cannot make the livestream, the presentations will be archived and information will be sent out once that occurs. Thanks to all for their continued support of the VoIP Hurricane Net!

73,Rob-KD1CY.
Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net

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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 kd1cy@voipwx.net

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!

73,Rob-KD1CY.
Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net

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WX4NHC Activated for Skywarn Recognition Day event – Saturday Dec 3rd, 2016

Announcement from WX4NHC
Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center, Miami Florida

WX4NHC will be On-The-Air for the Skywarn Recognition Day (SRD)
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016  from 9AM- 6 PM EDT ( 1400z- 2300z)

This will be our 18th year of participation in the SRD and our 35th year of public service at NHC.

The purpose of this event is to test the Amateur Radio Station operations and equipment between NWS Office nationwide and is sponsored by NOAA.
This event is excellent practice for Ham Radio Operators as well as NWS Staff to become familiar with the unique communications skills available during times of severe weather. It is also a fun event.
http://hamradio.noaa.gov

WX4NHC will also be performing operator training.
We will be making SRD contacts on many frequencies and modes, exchanging signal reports and basic weather data exchange (“Sunny”, or “Rain”, etc.) between NWS Offices and any stations in any location.

WX4NHC will be On-The-Air on HF, VHF, UHF , 2 & 30 meter APRS and WinLink wx4nhc@winlink.org subject must contain “//WL2K”).
We will try to stay on the recognized Hurricane Watch Net frequency 14.325 MHz most of the time and announce when we QSY.

Due to space and equipment limitations, we will have 2 operators per shift, we can not be everywhere and every mode at the same time.
You may be able to find us on HF by using one of the DX Spotting Networks,

Such as the DX Summit Web Site:
http://www.dxsummit.fi/Search.aspx

We will also be on VoIP Hurricane Net 4pm-6pm EST (2100-2300z)
(IRLP node 9219 / EchoLink WX-TALK Conference node 7203).
http://www.voipwx.net/

Local South Florida area VHF & UHF Repeaters will be contacted.

QSL Cards are available via WD4R.
Please send your card with a S.A.S.E.

Please do NOT send QSLs directly to the Hurricane Center address, as it will get delayed.

Due to security measures;

Please, NO VISITORS.   
No one will be allowed entry to NHC without prior clearance from NHC PIO and Security.

Only WX4NHC Operators on the pre-approved operating schedule will be allowed entry.

For more information about WX4NHC, please visit our website
www.wx4nhc.org

Thank you for your participation in the Annual Skywarn Recognition Day event.

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-
Julio Ripoll Architect WD4R
WX4NHC Amateur Radio Asst. Coordinator
www.wx4nhc.org
Celebrating 36 years at the
National Hurricane Center
www.nhc.noaa.gov
-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

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Hurricane Otto 11/24/16 830 AM EST Update – Landfall in Southern Nicaragua Expected Around Midday or Early Afternoon Today

Hello to all..

On behalf of the entire VoIP Hurricane Net Management Team and Net Control Stations, we would like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

After dropping below hurricane strength during the day Wednesday, Otto reintensified significantly overnight and is now a Category-2 hurricane with winds of 105 MPH. Otto is expected to make landfall in Southern Nicaragua around Midday or Early Afternoon today. It is noted that the strongest winds from Otto may strike a very rural area but the heavy rainfall and flood threat is significant and could affect more populated areas. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Limon Costa Rica to Bluefields Nicaragua. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for North of Bluefields to Sandy Bay Sirpi Nicaragua and South of Limon to the Costa Rica/Panama border. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for North of Bluefields to Sandy Bay Sirpi Nicaragua and Puntarenas Costa Rica to Puerto Sandino Nicaragua. Interests elsewhere in Costa Rica and Nicaragua are to closely monitor the progress of Otto.

There are no Echolink or IRLP nodes or stations in Nicaragua or Costa Rica. There are a few online weather stations in the area and few posters from storm blogging sites and social media. There will be no formal VoIP Hurricane Net activation for Otto due to limited path ways to gather information though a few net management team members will monitor the *WX_TALK* Echolink conference node: 7203/IRLP 9219 reflector system over the course of Thanksgiving in case there are any relayed reports from the affected area of Otto.

On HF, the Hurricane Watch Net is planning to activate at 9 AM today. Their activation plans as noted by KB5HAV-Bobby Graves – HWN Net Manager can be seen at the following link:

http://www.hwn.org/policies/activationplans.html

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UPDATED – SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) 2016 on the *WX_TALK* Echolink Conference Node: 7203/IRLP 9219 System – Saturday 12/3/16 0000-2400 UTC

Hello to all..

SKYWARN Recognition Day is December 3rd, 2016 from 0000-2400 UTC (Friday Evening 12/2/16 from 700 PM ET-Saturday Evening 12/3/16 at 7 PM ET) and Echolink and IRLP will be playing a role in SRD as it has in past years. SKYWARN Recognition Day is an opportunity for National Weather Service Forecast Offices across the United States to thank SKYWARN Spotters for their efforts in obtaining timely severe weather reporting for the protection of life and property. This is the SKYWARN program’s main mission.

EchoLink and IRLP are just a couple of modes people can utilize to contact NWS offices during SKYWARN Recognition Day. Many NWS offices will be on 2 Meters, 440 MHz, HF and other VHF/UHF bands. Additional details on SKYWARN Recognition Day can be found via the following link:

http://hamradio.noaa.gov

The ARRL has also published a web story for SRD. That web story can be seen via the following link:
http://www.arrl.org/news/skywarn-recognition-day-on-the-air-event-is-saturday-december-3

As in past years, the EchoLink *WX_TALK* Node: 7203/IRLP reflector 9219 system will be scheduling time for NWS offices in 1-2 hour time slots to act as a net control to make contacts with spotters that are on the system. If a NWS office runs out of contacts and there are other NWS offices on the system, the NWS office acting as net control can turn it over to a different NWS office to act as a net control on the system at their discretion.

We’d like to ask NWS offices to do their best to adhere to the schedule. Sometimes this is difficult due to the number of contacts received by NWS offices. We ask for everyone’s patience and working cooperatively to respect the time slot schedule.

Below is the latest 2016 SRD Schedule with numerous updates from NWS offices that have confirmed their time slot for this year. We would like to know if the remaining NWS offices would like to keep their time slot or change time slots. See the list of NWS offices below:

Time in UTC NWS Office Call-Sign
0000-0100: WX0GLD (Confirmed time slot for this year)
0100-0200: WX1GYX (Confirmed time slot for this year)
0200-0300: WX4MLB (Confirmed time slot for this year)
0300-0400: WX1BOX (Confirmed time slot for this year)
0400-0500: WX9GRB (Confirmed time slot for this year)
0500-0600: KL7FWX (Confirmed time slot for this year)
0600-0700: WX4HUN (Confirmed time slot for this year)
0700-0800: KL7FWX (Confirmed time slot for this year)
0800-0900: WX9LOT (Confirmed time slot for this year)
0900-1000: Open
1000-1100: Open
1100-1200: Open
1200-1300: W7NWS (New Time Slot for this year)
1300-1400: WX2PHI (Confirmed time slot for this year)
1400-1500: W1AW (New time slot for this year)
1500-1600: WX1BOX (Confirmed time slot for this year)
1600-1700: WX4NC (Confirmed time slot for this year)
1700-1800: WX2PHI (Confirmed time slot for this year)
1800-1900: WX6MTR (Time slot for last year)
1900-2000: K0MPX (Confirmed time slot for this year)
2000-2100: WX4MLB (Confirmed time slot for this year)
2100-2300: WX4NHC (Confirmed time slot for this year)
2300-2400: WX6NWS (Confirmed time slot for this year)

There will be other conference systems utilized for SKYWARN Recognition Day. They are as follows:

The New England Reflector Gateway System will be utilized by the NWS Taunton, Mass. and NWS Gray, Maine offices from 0000-0500 UTC and 1200-2400 UTC. The New England Gateway system is on EchoLink Conference server *NEW-ENG3* Node: 9123, IRLP reflector 9123. If other NWS offices would like to join the system, they are welcome to do so and participants in SKYWARN Recognition Day can also use that system to make contact with various NWS offices. This is a great place to move off the *WX_TALK* Node: 7203/IRLP 9219 system after your scheduled time if other Amateurs or NWS offices whish to make contact with you.

Also, the Western Reflector will be having NWS offices calling CQ as in past years and have multiple reflector channels and Echolink conferences available. There is reflector 9250/Echolink Conference *HI-GATE* node: 357564, IRLP 9251 and the *WORLD* Echolink Conference node: 479886, IRLP 9257/*DCF-ARC* Echolink Conference node: 336037 and IRLP 9258/EchoLink Conference *NV-GATE* Node: 152566 open for NWS offices. Please contact Kent-W7AOR for additional information on the Western Reflector.

A few technical reminders for folks interested in making contacts with the NWS Forecast Offices on the *WX-TALK* Node: 7203/IRLP 9219 and New England Reflector Gateway IRLP 9123/*NEW-ENG3* Echolink Node: 9123 systems:

-The system allows both EchoLink and IRLP connections. For EchoLink users, you connect to the *WX-TALK* Node: 7203 conference system. For IRLP users, you would connect to IRLP reflector 9219.

-If you are using EchoLink, the RF node or PC that you’re using must have EchoLink conferencing disabled. If it is not disabled, the system will automatically kick the node or PC off of the system. The reason this occurs is to prevent unintentional interference from a conferencing station that may not know the node is connected somewhere else. This will keep traffic moving on the net and reduce interference considerably.

For more information on VoIP Technical Configuration Tips, please go to our web site at http://www.voipwx.net where we have a link to that information on the main menu of the web site. This announcement will also be on the web site.

We are looking forward to another fun SKYWARN Recognition Day on the *WX-TALK* Node: 7203/IRLP reflector 9219 system, New England Reflector Gateway system and Western Reflector system. Thanks to all for their support!

73,Rob-KD1CY.
Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator for NWS Taunton Massachusetts
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator

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Tropical Storm Otto Intensifies into Hurricane Otto – Possible Landfall in Southern Nicaragua Thanksgiving Day

Hello to all…

Tropical Storm Otto has intensified into Hurricane Otto as of the 4 PM EST 11/22/16 National Hurricane Center (NHC) advisory. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Costa Rica/Panama border to south of Bluefields. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Nargana to Colon including San Andres. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for West of Colon to the Costa Rica/Panama border and the Bluefields to Sandy Bay Sirpi. Hurricane Warnings are likely for portions of the Hurricane Watch area tonight or early tomorrow morning. On the current forecast track, Otto will make landfall in Southern Nicaragua on Thanksgiving Day.

Regarding VoIP Hurricane Net Activation status, there are no known Echolink or IRLP nodes in the affected area and few online personal weather stations in the area. If Amateurs within the email groups know of stations in the affected area of Costa Rica and Nicaragua who can connect via Echolink or IRLP or have relays to Amateurs in the affected area, we can look at a potential activation. If there are no known paths to the affected area, we will not activate for Hurricane Otto. We will provide an update on activation status by late Wednesday Afternoon.

Advisories on Otto can be seen off the main menu of the voipwx.net web site, via the voipwxnet Facebook and Twitter feeds and off the National Hurricane Center web site via the following link:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

The VoIP Hurricane Net Management Team will closely monitor the progress of this system. Thanks to all for their continued support of the VoIP Hurricane Net!

73,Rob-KD1CY.
Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net

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