(Update: Friday, September 08, 2017 @ 600 PM EDT (2200 UTC)
The Hurricane Watch Net remains at Alert Level 5 – Catastrophic Response Mode. Will remain in continuous operation until further notice. The Hurricane Watch Net will cease daytime operations on 14.325.00 MHz at 7:00 PM EDT 2300 UTC at which time we will move to our nighttime frequency of 7.268.00 MHz. We will remain active overnight and suspended nighttime operations at 7:30 AM EDT – 1130 UTC. Daytime operations will resume on 14.325.00 MHz at 7:00 AM EDT - 1100 UTC, 30 minutes prior to shutting down on 7.268. Any change in Net Operation plans will be noted here, on our website, the networks of 14.300.00 MHz, and many additional amateur radio networks and media.
As was the case on Thursday, we’ve battled poor to nonexistent propagation due to solar flares and a geomagnetic storm.
This evening, we are tracking 3 hurricanes: Irma, José, and Katia.
All data from this point forward comes from the 500 PM EDT – 2100 UTC Advisories.
Katia is forecast to make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane later tonight or early Saturday morning somewhere between Veracruz and Tampico, Mexico. Katia is a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained wind of 105 mph (165 km/h) moving to the west-southwest at 7 mph (11 km/h).
Sadly, we’ve not heard from anyone in Mexico for any landfalling hurricane since 2005. We will, however, be reading the Discussion and 48 Hour Outlook paragraph from the Public Advisory Only. We will ask for reporting stations in that area ONLY. If nothing, we move to on to José.
José is forecast to affect the northern Leeward Islands Saturday. José is a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained wind of 150 mph (240 km/h) – nearly a Cat 5 hurricane – moving to the west-northwest at 17 mph (28 km/h).
Be advised, nearly all communications in the northern Leeward Islands were knocked out by Irma. We will read the following paragraphs found in the Public Advisory:
Summary of Watch & Warnings in Effect and Discussion & 48 Hour Outlook.
We will ask for reporting stations in the Leeward Islands ONLY. If nothing, we move on to Irma.
It stands to reason, Irma is our primary concern. Irma remains a powerful and deadly hurricane. It has strengthened a lot today and is just 2 mph shy of again being a Category 5 hurricane. Irma has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph (250 km/h), moving to the west at 12 mph (19km/h). The storm was located about 195 miles (310 km) east of Caibarien Cuba and about 345 miles (555 km) southeast of Miami, Florida.
I will post below some images of these storms and our reason for concern.
I realize our net operations have disrupted normal amateur radio activity on the frequencies of 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz. I wish to sincerely thank the daily users of these frequencies to allow us to serve our fellow man in a serious time of need. We do pray these storms are over soon as we, members of the Hurricane Watch Net, many who have regular working jobs, have taken time off to assist in Hurricane Weather Emergency. Please bear with us as we continue to help those affected and yet to be affected. We will return these frequencies to normal amateur radio use as soon as this Weather Emergency has passed.
Please, keep those who are in the path of these dangerous hurricanes in your thoughts and prayers!
As always, we are praying and hoping for the best yet preparing for the worst.
Bobby Graves - KB5HAV
Hurricane Watch Net
Irma’s track has moved further west today. If the storm gets into the Gulf, it could make a direct hit on Tampa or close by. The Sea Surface Temps in the Gulf are extremely warm.
Sea Surface Temps at or above 80ºF are fuel for any tropical cyclone. Waters near Tampa are nearly 90ºF.