Now in its 36th year, WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, will conduct its annual NHC Station Test on Saturday, May 28. The event, which gets under way at 1400 UTC and wraps up at 2200 UTC, is conducted each year in advance of hurricane season.
“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 1 and runs through November 30,” said WX4NHC Amateur Radio Assistant Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R. “This event is good practice for ham radio operators worldwide as well as National Weather Service (NWS) staff to become familiar with Amateur Radio communication available during times of severe weather.”
The annual Station Test is not a contest or simulated hurricane exercise. WX4NHC will be on the air on various bands and modes. The station also often takes advantage of the test to perform operator training. WX4NHC will make brief contacts with participating stations to exchange signal reports and basic weather data. For example, stations may report “sunny” or “rain” or “cloudy” in describing the conditions at their locations.
Ripoll said WX4NHC will operate on HF, VHF, UHF, 2 meter 30 meter APRS, and available via Winlink (subject line must contain “//WL2K”). “We will try to stay on the Hurricane Watch Net frequency of 14.325 MHz most of the time,” Ripoll said. He explained that due to space and equipment limitations, WX4NHC will deploy up to three operators per shift, so the station cannot be everywhere and on every mode simultaneously. “You may be able to find us on HF by using one of the DX spotting networks, such as such as My DX Summit,” he suggested.
WX4NHC also plans to be on the VoIP Hurricane Net from 2100 until 2200 UTC (IRLP node 9219; EchoLink WX-TALK Conference node 7203). In addition, the station will be active on South Florida VHF and UHF repeaters.
QSL cards are available to participating stations via WD4R; include a self-addressed stamped envelope. Do not send cards to the National Hurricane Center.
Visit the WX4NHC website for more information about the station.