The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) has announced tentative plans to activate on Thursday, November 24, at 1200 UTC on its primary frequency of 14.325 MHz. If propagation dictates, the net will operate on 7.268 MHz as well. Once activated, the net will remain in continuous operation until further notice.
“Planning to activate for a hurricane is usually an easy task,” said HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, in announcing the activation. “Every now and then, a storm comes along [that is] forecast to become a hurricane prior to landfall.” He said he called the activation in light of the uncertainty over whether Otto would again reach hurricane strength prior to making landfall in Central America.
Amateur Radio emergency nets on 40 and 75 meters have activated in anticipation that Tropical Storm Otto may make landfall in Central America. In Costa Rica a net is operational on 7080 kHz. In Nicaragua, National Red Cross Emergency Net frequencies in use are 7098 kHz (7105 kHz alternate) and 3798 kHz (3805 kHz alternate). The official net station is YN1YN. Some “high-risk” populations have been evacuated in certain areas where flooding is most likely.
As of 2100 UTC on November 23, the storm’s center was about 140 miles northeast of Limon, Costa Rica, and some 180 miles east-southeast of Bluefields, Nicaragua, tracking to the west at 7 MPH. Maximum sustained winds are 70 MPH. Otto is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 6 to 12 inches, with isolated amounts of 15 to 20 inches, across northern Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua through Thursday. This rainfall will likely result in life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
Outer rain bands from Otto are expected to produce rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches over San Andres and Providencia islands, and the higher terrain of central and western Panama and southern Costa Rica through November 23.
“Your cooperation in helping keep a clear frequency greatly enhances our mission in helping those affected by hurricanes,” Graves said. The Net will announce any changes to its plans on its website.