The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) has been active since 1400 UTC on October 2, as Hurricane Matthew — a dangerous Category 4 storm — threatens Jamaica, Haiti, and eastern Cuba. The storm could affect the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas and possibly the Eastern US Seaboard. As of 2100 UTC, Matthew was some 320 miles south-southwest of Port au Prince, Haiti, and about 270 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, boasting maximum sustained winds of 145 MPH. The storm is moving to the northwest at 5 MPH. On its current trajectory, Matthew could make landfall in Jamaica, Haiti, and the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas. A hurricane watch is in effect for those areas. The HWN activated on 14.325 MHz, and will operate on that frequency and on 7.268 MHz, its nighttime frequency. If propagation dictates, the net will operate on both frequencies simultaneously.
“Matthew is a very large and dangerous hurricane. It is forecast to produce total rain accumulations of 15 to 25 inches over southern Haiti, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 40 inches,” said HWN Manager Bobby Graves. He thinks it’s possible that parts of Jamaica Haiti could begin losing power soon.
“Matthew is forecast to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches over eastern Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and eastern Cuba, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches. This rainfall will produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides,” he said.
Graves points out that the HWN does not handle health-and-welfare traffic. “For those seeking to pass health and welfare traffic, we will respectfully defer to the SATERN Net,” he said. “It is better equipped and trained for this type of traffic.” When active, the SATERN Net operates on 14.265 MHz.
Graves requested that stations not check into the HWN unless specifically asked to do so. “We will attempt to handle all communications within the capabilities of our own members,” he said. “When outside assistance is required, we will welcome your help.” He asked all stations to follow the instructions of the net control station.
SATERN will activate to at least a DELTA II (extended monitoring) status immediately after the conclusion of the International SATERN SSB Net on Monday, October 3. This will include continuous monitoring of 14.265 MHz while propagation lasts. SATERN operators also will monitor the HWN as well as the Maritime Mobile Service Net (MMSN) on 14.300 MHz while propagation lasts.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said that Hurricane Matthew is expected to take a turn toward the north tonight. On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will approach southwestern Haiti and Jamaica on Monday. Some fluctuation in intensity is possible during the next couple of days, but Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane into Tuesday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the storm’s center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles.