A group of dedicated and trained volunteers, from Cleveland to the Caribbean, will monitor their amateur radio stations, taking reports from individuals near Hurricane Isabel and reading alerts until the storm is a memory.
This information is critical to public forecasts issued by the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Ham Radio reports are used to check the complex computer models being generated by the center to predict the storms path and intensity. These "ground truth" radio reports, verify or refute the conditions being modeled.
"Without these ground truth reports from the storm, forecasters would have to rely solely on computer models to predict the storm. The Hurricane Watch Net radio reports help them understand which model may be the best, or if their predictions are correct," according to the Manager of the HWN, Mike Pilgrim (radio call K5MP). He adds, "We are the eyes of theforecasters, we help them to see the picture on the ground by relaying immediate reports from the area."Ham Radio operators are licensed by the FCC to use radio frequencies for the public good and for electronic experimentation. The Hurricane Watch Net is a group of licensed HamRadio operators with specialized skills in weather, crisis communications, and many other areas related to effective emergency communication.
Pilgrim will direct operations beginning Wednesday morning at 10am EDT.
- From a Hurricane Watch Net Press Release