The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) formally secured operations for Hurricane Nate today, October 8, at 0900 UTC. The net uses 14.265 and 7.268 MHz.
The National Hurricane Center reported at 0600 UTC that the eye of Hurricane Nate had moved over Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, where hurricane hunter planes are stationed, with maximum sustained winds of 85 MPH. Nate has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, and, at 0900 UTC, was some 80 miles north-northeast of Biloxi and about 135 miles west-southwest of Montgomery, Alabama, with maximum sustained winds of 70 MPH, moving northeast at a brisk 23 MPH.
During the 14-hour net activation, HWN members collected and forwarded ground-truth weather data from numerous reporting stations across the northern Gulf to the National Hurricane Center.
“2017 has been a tough year for land-falling hurricanes,” HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, said, noting that the Atlantic hurricane season continues through November 30. “Of course, Mother Nature could care less about a calendar and pop out a storm anytime she likes, so, always be prepared!”
The VoIP Hurricane Net also activated for Hurricane Nate, securing early on October 8.
“Nate spared the New Orleans area any significant wind damage and storm-surge flooding, but pockets of tree and wire damage and wind gusts to hurricane force were recorded in parts of Mississippi and offshore oil platforms in the Louisiana coastal waters,” said Net Director of Operations Rob Macedo, KD1CY.
“Storm surge values of 3-7 feet were recorded in portions of southern Alabama, southern Mississippi, and extreme southeast Louisiana.” Macedo said some pockets of structural damage were recorded in parts of Mississippi and Alabama from higher wind gusts in severe thunderstorms or possibly tornado activity. One tornado was spotted in Orange Beach, Alabama, by an Amateur Radio operator who was in the area, he said.