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HWN Newsletter



Thursday, August 10, 2017
by Bobby Graves - KB5HAV

The Hurricane Watch Net activated for Tropical Cyclone Franklin, a tropical storm at the time with 70mph sustained winds, at 1:00 PM EDT – 1700 UTC on 14.325 Wednesday afternoon. Franklin was upgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane at 4:00 PM CDT – 2100 UTC. The hurricane made landfall in the Mexican state of Veracruz near the town of Lechuguillas as a Category 1 Hurricane with sustained winds of 85mph around 1:00 AM CDT – 0600 UTC.

Reports from Mexico were few and far between. We did hear from hams in Campeche and Puebla. Our Spanish operators did a great job in working to find reporting stations on the Mexican 40 meter emergency nets, but, were never able to find stations on the air or else received interference from elsewhere.

During the day, 20 meter propagation was not that good, but, we had members in various locations throughout the US, Caribbean, and Central America that were able to reach the affected area. 40 meter propagation was good in the early evening, but, around midnight CDT – 0400 UTC, communications was nearly impossible. So, after an eleven hour net activation, we suspended net operations at that time.

We will continue working to encourage radio amateurs throughout the Caribbean to get on the air and participate whenever a hurricane threatens their area. And, we are continually working to increase our membership with bilingual operators fluent in both Spanish and English. This will allow us to have more bilingual operators on the air whenever a hurricane threatens an area where people are more comfortable speaking Spanish.

As always, our sincere thanks to the daily users of 14.325.00 MHz and 7.268.00 MHz for the use of these frequencies.

The 2017 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season is still young, so, please do not drop your guard!

Sincerely,
Bobby Graves
Net Manager
Hurricane Watch Net

Wednesday, July 5, 2017
by Bobby Graves - KB5HAV

Dr. Phillip Klotzbach, of Colorado State University, has issued his second update to his 2017 Atlantic Basin Hurricane forecast.  In this update he said, “We have increased our forecast and now believe that 2017 will have above average activity.  The odds of a significant El Niño in 2017 have continued to diminish, and most of the tropical and subtropical Atlantic remains anomalously warm.  With the increase in our forecast, the probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean has increased as well.  As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them.  They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.”

Dr. Klotzbach has upped his initial forecast from April, and again from June, to 15 named storms, 8 becoming hurricanes and 3 of those to reach major hurricane status (Cat 3 and stronger).  We’ve already witnessed three Atlantic Basin storms this year: Tropical Storm Arlene back in April, and Tropical Storms Bret and Cindy in June.

The sea surface temps in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are very warm.  In some Gulf Coast areas, water temps are at or slightly above 90ºF.  Anything above 80ºF is fuel for tropical systems.  Remove the Saharan Dust & Wind Shear and Mother Nature has what she needs for a Major Hurricane.

The ARRL will sponsor the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Webinar on Monday, July 17, at 8 PM ET (0000 UTC on Tuesday, July 18).  The approximately 90-minute session will address the role of Amateur Radio during the 2017 Hurricane Season.  Anyone interested in hurricane preparedness and response is invited to take part in this online presentation.

Topics will include a meteorological overview of the current season from the Canadian Hurricane Centre; Amateur Radio station WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center: Who We Are and What We Do; ARRL Media and Public Relations; the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN); the VoIP Hurricane Net, Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) and ARRL coordination and interface.  Webinar registration is free and open to all, but this session should be of particular interest to radio amateurs in hurricane-prone areas.  The webinar will conclude with a question-and-answer session.

Thursday, June 1, 2017
by Bobby Graves - KB5HAV

Dr. Phillip Klotzbach, of Colorado State University, has issued his first update to his 2017 Atlantic Basin Hurricane forecast.  In this update he said, “We have increased our forecast and now believe that 2017 will have approximately average activity.  The odds of a significant El Niño in 2017 have diminished somewhat, and portions of the tropical Atlantic have anomalously warmed over the past two months.  While the tropical Atlantic is warmer than normal, the far North Atlantic remains colder than normal, potentially indicative of a negative phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation.  We anticipate a near-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean.  As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them.  They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.”

Dr. Klotzbach has upped his initial forecast from April to 13 named storms, 6 becoming hurricanes and 2 of those to reach major hurricane status (Cat 3 and stronger).  We’ve already witnessed one Atlantic Basin storms this year: Tropical Storm Arlene back in April.

We are quickly closing in on 12 years without having a Major Hurricane making landfall here in the United States.  To say we’ve been extremely lucky to have not had hurricanes making landfall at the rate we saw in the preceding decades is an understatement!  Stay ready…remain alert…this year could be very unpredictable!

Thursday, April 6, 2017
by Bobby Graves - KB5HAV

Dr. Philip Klotzbach has just released his first forecast for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season.  “We anticipate that the 2017 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have slightly below average activity.  The current neutral ENSO is likely to transition to either weak or moderate El Niño conditions by the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.  The tropical Atlantic has anomalously cooled over the past month and the far North Atlantic is relatively cold, potentially indicative of a negative phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation.  We anticipate a below average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean.  As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them.  They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.”

Dr. Klotzbach is currently forecasting 11 named storms, 4 to become a Hurricane with 2 of those to become a Major Hurricane (Cat 3 or stronger).

As a reminder, the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season ‘officially’ runs from May 15th to Nov 30th.  The Atlantic Hurricane Season ‘officially’ runs from June 1st to Nov 30th.  However, tropical cyclones can develop any time of the year.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
by Bobby Graves - KB5HAV

Col. Don Kay, KØIND (USAF)
Don Kay – KØIND

It is with a very heavy heart that I announce the passing of Col. Don Kay, KØIND (USAF). He passed away today, March 1, 2017, around 11:30 am CST after battling lung cancer for the last 3 years. He was 89 years old.

Don was a great friend and Elmer. I cherish the times we talked on the air as well as my visits to his home in Panama City Beach, FL. During the summer of 2012, I wrote an article about Don in the Hurricane Watch Net newsletter, “The HWN Report”. While interviewing him about his life and career, I learned more about what an amazing man he was.

Don was born in Detroit, MI in 1927 and grew up there. He married his beautiful bride in 1952, and together they have two children: Richard Kay of Tallahassee and Victoria Kay Willis of Dexter, MO. His wife had succumbed to Lymph Node cancer in 1999. Don served in the military from 1946 until 1977. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a BS Degree in 1951 and then attended US Air Force Basic Flight School graduating with Pilot Wings in 1952. His next step was to graduate as an All Weather Pilot.

During Don’s distinguished career, he flew a total of fifteen models of military aircraft: the N3N Canary, the T-6 Texan, the P-51D Mustang, the T-33 Shooting Star, the F-86F Sabre (the USAF's first swept-wing jet fighter), the F86D Sabre (an all-weather interceptor), the A-1Skyraider, the C-47 Skytrain or Dakota (DC-3), the T-29 (developed for the Air Force as a flying classroom to train navigators), the C-131 Samaritan, the C-45 Expeditor, the C-54 Skymaster, the O-2 Skymaster, and the OV-10 Bronco. Don also flew the J-3 Piper Cub (the first plane he soloed in 1946), the Piper Comanche, and the Piper Tri-pacer.

Don flew a total of 175 combat missions & spent well over 610 hours in combat in C-47's in Vietnam. He was with the Vietnam Defense Campaign and Air Campaign from Apr 1965 until Mar 1966. Don served as A-1E section commander for the combat crew training squadron at Hurlburt AFB Florida in 1966. Later that same year, he served as Air Operations Officer while stationed at Eglin AFB Florida. From Jan through Apr 1969, Don flew combat missions flying A-1, O-2, and OV-10 aircraft while in Thailand. He was a squadron pilot flying A-1's stationed at Nakhon Phanom Airport, Thailand and Chief of the Aircrew Evaluation Section. He was transferred to 7th Air Force in Saigon, Vietnam and was a Battle Staff Director. He retired from the Air Force at Air Force Communications Command as Director of Plans. Don also flew DC-3's, Convair 240's, 340's, and 440's for Air Sunshine in Florida and Air Texana in Texas. His final flight was in Apr 1981.

If anyone could be considered a “Humanitarian”, it would be Col. Don Kay. He loved Amateur Radio and, more importantly, he loved helping people. Around 1952, Don earned his amateur radio license while stationed in Colorado Springs, CO. He enjoyed working voice and digital modes. In 1965, he became a member of the Hurricane Watch Net, was one of the original members of the Net and considered by many as a co-founder. He served twenty-three years as Assistant Net Manager from 1965-1988 and four years as net manager from 1988–1992. In the early 80’s, Don designed the Hurricane Watch Net Logo. In 1989 he helped develop Grupo Seguimiento de Huracanes, the Mexican version of the Hurricane Watch Net. In 2013, he was named “Manager Emeritus”. Over the last 4 years, Don served as an advisor. All totaled, he spent 52 years with the Hurricane Watch Net.

He became involved with The Maritime Mobile Service Net as well as Air Force MARS and worked with a group called MARCO (Medical Amateur Radio Conference). Don’s work with MARCO consisted of helping missionaries and doctors throughout Central America and the Caribbean running phone patches. A few patches were for doctors needing to speak with physicians in the US specializing in an area for which they needed assistance, such as pediatrics. In some cases, the doctors would conclude the child needed specialized care or surgery, and this could be handled better in the US. During these situations, I've witnessed Don working closely with others to help coordinate with various airlines servicing location of the child in need and bringing that child plus one parent to the US for care. Once the child was well enough, an airline would fly the child and parent back home at no charge.

He also assisted with communications during the Jim Jones fiasco in 1978 and Grenada conflict in 1983. Senator Barry Goldwater, K7UGA (SK), placed Don in the Congressional Record as an example of Amateur Radio Activity. Following 31 years of volunteer service to the Communications Section of the Bay County Florida Emergency Operations Center, the County Commissioners paid tribute by declaring December 6, 2011 a day in honor of Mr. Don Kay for the valuable services provided. Don was one of the few people I’ve known who had a very calming, reassuring voice during emergency situations (undoubtedly due to his training and service).

Funeral arrangements are in the works; when I have more details, I’ll pass them along. I do know he will be laid to rest with full military honors. Please keep his daughter Vickie, son Richard, and extended family & friends in your thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,
Bobby Graves - KB5HAV
Net Manage
Hurricane Watch Net


Saturday, May 14, 2016
by Bobby Graves - KB5HAV

Maj. Pat McPherson - WW9E
Major Patrick (Pat) E. McPherson - WW9E


Maj Pat had a heart for people, reaching out to those hurting, and that of Emergency Service and Communications.  In June of 1988, he founded SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network).  A couple of months later, SATERN was called into action for the first time after Hurricane Gilbert devastated the island of Jamaica, a storm which took the lives of 341 people and left thousands homeless.  Over the years, SATERN has help handle Health & Welfare Traffic from areas hit by Hurricanes, Tornados, Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and more.

Major Pat has left a great legacy and he will be sorely missed.  He was 70.


On behalf of the Hurricane Watch Net, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

With great sympathy,
Bobby Graves – KB5HAV
Net Manager
Hurricane Watch Net


Saturday, April 16, 2016
by Bobby Graves - KB5HAV

Dr. Bill Gray
Dr. Bill Gray
The field of tropical meteorology truly lost one of its pioneers today.  Dr. Bill Gray, renowned Professor with Colorado State University's Dept. of Atmospheric Science passed away today at the age of 86.  Dr. Gray’s legacy will last for ages to come.

On behalf of the Hurricane Watch Net, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

With great sympathy,
Bobby Graves – KB5HAV
Net Manager
Hurricane Watch Net






Tuesday, February 9, 2016
by Bobby Graves - KB5HAV

Dave LeFavour - W7GOX
Dave Lefavour - W7GOX

It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart to learn of, and announce, the passing Dave Lefavour, W7GOX. Dave passed away last evening, Monday, February 8, 2016 after a long, hard fought battle with cancer.

Dave was a member of HWN for well over 20 years, served as Net Manager from 2006 – 2009, and received Manager Emeritus status in 2013. Dave was also a 20+ year member of the Maritime Mobile Service Network.

Dave was one of few I’ve met who had a very calming and reassuring voice during any emergency situation. This is undoubtedly due to his training and service as a combat pilot in the US Navy.


Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Dave.

Sincerely,
Bobby
KB5HAV
Net Manager
Hurricane Watch Net