The WX4NHC Annual Station On-the-Air Test will be held on Saturday, May 29, from 9 AM to 5 PM EDT (1300Z-2100Z). This hurricane season, WX4NHC operators plan to be working remotely again. The National Hurricane Center is planning to maintain all CDC pandemic protocols until the end of 2021. The National Hurricane Center is allowing only the main meteorologists and staff to enter the building.
Julio Ripoll, WD4R, Assistant Coordinator of the National Hurricane Center‘s amateur radio station WX4NHC, said the event offers an opportunity for radio amateurs worldwide to exercise the sorts of communications available during severe weather. “We will be making brief contacts on many frequencies and modes, exchanging signal reports and basic weather data (sunny, rain, temperature, etc.) with any station in any location,” Ripollsaid.
Operation will take place on HF, VHF, UHF, APRS, and Winlink. WX4NHC will center its activity on the Hurricane Watch Net frequencies of 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz, depending on propagation, but will operate elsewhere as conditions dictate. WX4NHC will also operate on the VoIP Hurricane Net from 2000 until 2100 UTC. For the upcoming hurricane season, Ripollreminded radio amateurs — “Even if you are not directly affected by a hurricane situation, please volunteer to monitor and relay reports; just one report can make a difference and help save a life!”
Due to COVID-19 concerns, 2021 SKYWARN Training classes will again be held virtually. The SKYWARN Training sessions will occur on 3 weeknights and 2 weekends. The weeknight sessions will be taught by NWS forecasters and the weekend sessions taught by Amateur Radio Operators.
All are welcome to attend the training sessions. New individuals who are interested in becoming a SKYWARN Spotter can take an optional quiz and will get their SKYWARN spotter number. These sessions count as refreshing their SKYWARN Training for existing spotters.
We hope as many individuals as possible can attend these training sessions. We thank all SKYWARN Spotters for their continued support of the NWS Boston/Norton SKYWARN program!
Robert Macedo, KD1CY ARES SKYWARN Coordinator Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator rmacedo [at] rcn [dot] com March 4, 2021
The fall 2020 nationwide Red Cross Emergency Communication Drill will take place on Saturday, November 14, in conjunction with ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) groups. The focus of the exercise is sending messages from local sites to a group of divisional clearing houses to simulate and demonstrate amateur radio’s capability to relay information in emergencies and disasters. The drill will get under way at 0900 until 1800 local time in each time zone. The scenario is a major weather event that has caused outages and created hazardous conditions across the country.
The drill will use Winlink as the primary method of delivering pre-formatted messages. The goal is to encourage more operators to become familiar with Winlink and its message templates — primarily ARC-213. This format permits sending standardized messages. The drill aims to bring as many radio operators as possible up to a “basic” level of Winlink proficiency.
A series of Winlink Workshops is held each Thursday at 0100 UTC on Zoom. Join the SEC-ARES group for announcements and discussions. Include name and call sign when registering.
Winlink proficiency goals have been drafted, a Winlink technical support team has been formed, and metrics for drill success have been developed. The proficiency goals are established as a training guideline and reference online training resources. Many hams new to Winlink may find these resources helpful.
Several hundred radio amateurs have already signed up for the event. This event is open to all radio amateurs.
The NE-ARES Academy program’s goal is to offer both basic and advanced skills training based in ARRL ARES training standards.
The first-ever New England Division ARES Academy, scheduled for the Division Convention in November, will instead be held over a period of several weeks in October via Zoom.
AS shown inthe schedule, there are five Basic Track classes for those just getting started, and more advanced classes and workshops for those who already have the basics.
A benefit of the on-line schedule is the opportunity to take every single class and workshop instead of having to pick and choose.
Weeknight class participants will be able to ask questions and interact with the instructor via chat.
The two-hour Saturday workshops are designed to be even more interactive. Academy Instructors are all recognized experts in their subject area.
Building a standardized base of training across New England will enhance our ability to provide better local emergency communications, and an effective ARESMAT (ARES Mutual Assistance Team) response across the region, and beyond.
~Dave Colter,WA1ZCN *
Academy coordinator Dave Colter, WA1ZCN, was the original editor and principal author of ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course series in the early 2000s, and creator of the original NH-ARES Academy. He is currently ASEC-Training for NH-ARES.
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization is eligible to apply for membership in ARES. Training may be required or desired to participate fully in ARES. Please inquire at the local level for specific information. Because ARES is an Amateur Radio program, only licensed radio amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.
SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) will mark its 20th anniversary on December 7, 0000 to 2400 UTC. ARES, SKYWARN and other amateurs will operate from National Weather Service (NWS) forecast offices across the country in a nod to the long relationship between the Amateur Radio community and the NWS SKYWARN program. Developed by NWS and ARRL staff in 1999, SRD is cosponsored by the organizations.
Participants exchange contact information with as many NWS stations as possible on 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meters, plus 70 centimeters. Contacts via repeaters are permitted. Stations should exchange call signs, signal reports, and locations, plus a quick description of the weather at your location (e.g., sunny, partly cloudy, windy, rainy, etc.). EchoLink and IRLP nodes, including Voice over Internet Protocol Weather Net (VoIP-WX), are expected to be active as well.
WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center will also be on the air for SRD, 1300 – 1700 UTC. Event certificates are electronic and printable from the main website at the conclusion of SRD. Please see the SKYWARN Recognition Day website.
Plaque is inscribed “Outstanding Service Award presented to Rob Macedo, in recognition of your many years of service to the weather community.” Click the image above to view the full-sized photo.
SEMARA member Robert D. Macedo, KD1CY has been recognized for his work. On November 9, 2018 during a Blue Hills Observatory fundraising event, the Blue Hill Observatory and Science Center awarded Macedo its Outstanding Service Award.
Doing the honors were meteorologist and Weather Channel personality Jim Cantore and former Weather Channel meteorologist Mish Michaels.
The honor was especially meaningful for Macedo as it coincided with his birthday.
“It’s both rewarding and humbling to receive [the award] in the presence of some of the most respected people in the meteorology profession,” Macedo said. “It wouldn’t be possible without the support of hundreds to thousands of SKYWARN spotters and Amateur Radio operators.”