Hurricane Watch Net Activates for “Catastrophic” Hurricane Ida
The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) is on Alert Level 5, “Catastrophic Response Mode,” as Hurricane Ida heads toward landfall on the coast of Louisiana today — the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina — after gaining considerable strength in the Gulf of Mexico. The net, on 14.325 and 7.268 MHz, works in concert with WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami to share real-time surface-weather observations with the Center’s forecasters.
In its 1500 UTC report, the NHC said the “eye of extremely dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Ida nearing the southeastern coast of Louisiana…catastrophic storm surge and hurricane-force winds moving onshore.”
Officials are saying Ida could be the most powerful hurricane to hit Louisiana in more than a century. As of 1500 UTC, Hurricane Ida was some 85 miles south of New Orleans with maximum sustained winds of 150 MPH, moving northwest at 13 MPH.
WX4NHC plans to be active until midnight Eastern Time for Hurricane Ida, welcoming all reports from stations in the affected area.
“These surface reports are very important to the NHC, as they are real-time reports of weather data, flooding, or damage that help the NHC Hurricane Specialists fill in gaps in data and help understand what is happening at the ground level,” Julio Ripoll, WD4R, at the Hurricane Center explained. WX4NHC will be monitoring the HWN, the VoIP Hurricane Net, Winlink, APRS, and other modes.
The VoIP Hurricane Net uses EchoLink WX-TALK Conference, node 7203. (IRLP node 9219). The WX4NHC Hurricane Report Form is online. “This remains a serious, life-threatening situation,” the National Weather Service tweeted.