The Weather Channel Cites 'Old School Tech' Amateur Radio as Storm Resource
The ARRL Letter
October 3, 2019
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The Weather Channel Cites 'Old School Tech' Amateur Radio as Storm Resource:
Julio Ripoll, WD4R, Amateur Radio Assistant Coordinator of WX4NHC
http://w4ehw.fiu.edu at the National Hurricane Center (NHC
Amateur Radio's role during severe weather situations to interviewers
from The Weather Channel (TWC
http://www.weather.com). In a September
16 segment headlined, "Using Old School Tech During a Storm," Ripoll --
seated at WX4NHC -- told Weather Channel interviewers Rick Knabb and
Mike Bettes, that information NHC forecasters receive via Amateur Radio
volunteers and spotters "sometimes fills in gaps they can't get from
satellites or reconnaissance."
Knabb recounted an occasion when he was trying to pin down information
about a storm system in Central America. "The only way I was able to
accurately document what happened with that system in Central America
was because of data through the ham radio operators that relayed it,"
he told Ripoll.
Ripoll cited the WX4NHC volunteer staff of approximately 30 radio
amateurs who gather and essentially screen information gathered via
Amateur Radio for weather data that may be of use to forecasters.
Over the weekend, Ripoll expressed appreciation to WX4NHC, Hurricane
Watch Net, and VoIP Hurricane Net volunteers for the time they donate
during hurricanes and the reports they send to WX4NHC.
"Sometimes, we sit for hours listening to static. Sometimes, we receive
many reports that are unremarkable. Sometimes, we receive very few
reports. But then there are those times that one or two reports make a
difference," Ripoll said. He noted that NHC Hurricane Specialist Stacy
Stewart cited Amateur Radio in a Hurricane Humberto advisory
The advisory noted, "An Amateur Radio operator at Ports Island near the
southern end of Bermuda reported a sustained wind of 75 MPH and a gust
to 104 MPH during the past hour. An Amateur Radio operator in Somerset
Village recently reported a sustained wind of 70 MPH and a gust to 89
MPH." -- Thanks to Julio Ripoll, WD4R
The ARRL Letter
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