Special Event – Hurricane Watch Net 50th Anniversay

Here is an article on the HF Band National Hurricane Network. Operating frequencies are listed at the bottom of the article.

A ham radio group dedicated to tracking Atlantic and Gulf hurricanes is celebrating a 50th anniversary, with a special event weekend June 13-14.

The Hurricane Watch Net is made up of ham operators across the U.S., Caribbean and Central America who track storms in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, taking notice when storms come within 300 miles of landfall.

Formed in 1965, the group has become larger and more formalized over the years, providing information to the National Hurricane Center station in Miami via spotter stations in the affected areas. The net also receives reports digitally over the Internet, to supplement what is received by radio, says Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, the HWN manager.

Over the five decades, there have been 581 storms in the coverage area, and 131 of those have come ashore as Category 1 hurricanes or higher, according to the HWN website newsletter. The work can be rewarding and stressful, in the business of saving lives and mitigating property damage.

“Every veteran HWN member has his or her own poignant memories of different storms,” Graves said on the website. “Others recall communicating with the flight crews of the hurricane hunter aircraft as they flew into storms…to maintaining communications with a ham in an upstairs room of his home, operating with a wire antenna and a battery as he watched as his neighbors’ homes were ripped apart by the fury of the storm.”

During June 13 and 14 event, the group will use the call sign WX5HWN to make contacts on 14.325 MHz – the normal daytime net frequency – and also the nighttime frequency of 7.268 MHz.

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