Hurricane Earl Coordination Message #7

Hello to all…

..Major Hurricane Earl Track Shifted a Bit Westward in 5 AM Advisory package. Hurricane Watches expanded from Plymouth Westport, Massachusetts. Inland Tropical Storm Watches issued for Bristol and Plymouth Counties..
..Major Hurricane Earl Threatens Southern New England with the potential for sustained tropical storm force winds particularly in Southeast New England but much of Eastern New England could be affected with tropical storm force winds in gusts and the potential for a period of hurricane force winds particularly over portions of Cape Cod and Nantucket Island. A further westward trend could bring hurricane force conditions as far north as Plymouth and and as far west as Westport, Massachusetts..
..A Hurricane Watch is in effect from Plymouth to Westport Massachusetts including Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard Islands..
..A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from the Mouth of the Merrimack River Massachusetts to Plymouth Massachusetts and from Sandy Hook New Jersey to Woods Hole Massachusetts..
..Track guidance is gradually coalesing between the 40 North/70 West benchmark and Buzzards Bay Massachusetts. Deviations in the forecast track could mean greater or lesser impact to Southern New England and there is still is up to 100-125 nautical mile error in the forecast track at this stage. Southern New England is now in the ‘3-day cone’ regarding Earl’s eventual track..
..All Emergency Management and Public Safety personnel, Amateur Radio and Non-Amateur Radio SKYWARN Spotters should continue to keep high situational awareness regarding the track and intensity of major Hurricane Earl. People should review hurricane/tropical storm safety tips now as a precaution..
..VoIP Hurricane Net and Hurricane Watch Net along with WX4NHC, Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center will activate at 4 PM Thursday Afternoon for Earl’s closest path to the Outer Banks and Eastern North Carolina, Eastern Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula..
..SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Taunton are likely Friday Morning into Saturday Morning based on the current track and intensity of Hurricane Earl. Massachusetts State EOC RACES and MEMA RACES Regional Office activation is slated to occur Friday Morning. Eastern Massachusetts ARES will be placed on stand-by starting at 7 AM ET Friday Morning lasting through 7 PM Saturday Evening..

Models are gradually coalesing on a solution putting Earl anywhere from around the 40 North/70 West Benchmark and then east of Cape Cod to a track over Cape Cod and between Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Islands. There remain some eastward and westward outliers but the general consensus of models is between those two areas. There remains a 100-125 nautical mile error which can still result in greater or lesser impact over the region. A continued westward trend has been noted with computer models with tracks anywhere from Buzzards Bay to the 40 North/70 West benchmark. This needs to be closely monitored for a more westward trend and greater impact to the region. It has resulted in an expansion of Hurricane Watches and they now cover from Plymouth to Westport, Massachusetts. 

The following is a rough estimation of impacts over the Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watch areas based on the current track and intensity of the hurricane and its extremely large size. This could change based on hurricane intensity and track of the system:

Hurricane Watch Area (Sagamore Beach to Woods Hole Cape Cod, Martha’s Vinyeard and Nantucket Islands):

This region will see high-end sustained tropical storm force winds with hurricane force wind gusts. It is now looking more likely that the Outer Cape and particularly Nantucket Island would have the potential to also see sustained hurricane force winds and gusts pending the eventual track of Earl. Rainfall will be very heavy with the potential for a swath of 3-6″ rainfall with isolated higher amounts. Storm surge will be most prevelant over north and east facing beaches with a 1-3 foot surge affected. Locations in Provincetown and Wellfleet could see greater impact if the track is a bit closer and the storm surge may occur some time after storm passage depending on that track.

Hurricane Watch Area (Plymouth to Sagamore Beach and from Westport Massachusetts to Sagamore Beach Massachusetts)

This area could see sustained winds of 35-45 MPH with gusts to 60-70 MPH and possibly slightly higher gusts. The Hurricane Watch has been issued to guard against a more westward solution towards Buzzards Bay. If that were to verify, hurricane force conditions sustained or in gusts may occur but the current solution would keep most of that to the east of this region. Rainfall in this area is likely to be 3-6″ with isolated higher amounts along the coast and inland Southern Bristol and Southern Plymouth Counties of Massachusetts. Storm surge over the south coast isn’t expected to be a major factor due to the wind direction but a 1-2 foot surge could occur over the Plymouth area depending on the track of Earl.

Tropical Storm Watch Area (Mouth of Merrimack River Massachusetts to Plymouth Massachusetts and South Coastal Rhode Island including the Tropical Storm Inland Wind Watch for Northern Bristol and North-Central Plymouth Counties):

In this area, sustained winds of 20-30 MPH with gusts of 40-50 MPH are possible depending on the track of Earl with the exception of inland Bristol and Plymouth Counties which could see sustained winds of 30-40 MPH with gusts to 60-65 MPH. Across the remainder of Rhode Island and Eastern Massachusetts inland of the TS Watch winds will drop off a bit with rainfall of 2-4″ with isolated higher amounts possible but if a further west track were to materialize more wind could occur in portions of Rhode Island and Eastern Massachusetts. It is noted that portions of Worcester County and Northeast Connecticut could see 1-3″ of rainfall.

There remains 3 factors that will further determine the track of Major Hurricane Earl that are still being scrutinized by the weather models are as follows:

1.) The strength and location of the Great Lakes trough and its interaction with Hurricane Earl
The strength and location of the Great Lakes trough and its interaction with Hurricane Earl will be critical. If the trough’s location is further west or not amplifying and interacting with Hurricane Earl, this would allow a closer to the coast track and more direct impact. If it amplifies and can interact with Earl, it would result in a greater push to the east.

2.) The sharpness and locations of the turns Earl will make
Depending on the sharpness and locations of Earl turns will determine the interaction with the Great Lakes trough and his eventual movement. This will be especially true as Earl approaches the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Thursday and this will be a critical time in the track and impact of Hurricane Earl on Southern New England.

3.) Intensity of Hurricane Earl as it moves up the coast
The intensity of Hurricane Earl will now be controlled by eyewall replacement cycles and other shorter-term phenomenon that cannot be fully predicted. Earl has gone through a significant intensification process and has grown in size. Unlike past hurricanes that have been much weaker as they approached New England, water temperatures are above normal and Earl is a very powerful and large hurricane. This is likely to result in greater impact from Earl then most tropical systems approaching New England because of its large size and intensity. In addition, the intensity of Earl may affect the movement of the system.

Swells and rip currents will become a very serious concern as Earl tracks closer to the region on Thursday extending through the Labor Day Holiday Weekend after Earl passes. There have been many times where offshore tropical systems have caused injuries or fatalities on the water from the surf and rip currents so folks swimming at area beaches over the next several days with the hot weather expected are advise to heed the advice of lifeguards and monitor NWS Taunton products for high surf advisory information. See link below for the the surf zone forecasts for more information and if High Surf Advisories are posted, that link will be posted and updated here:

NWS Taunton Surf Zone Forecast Information:
http://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.fzus51.KBOX.html

All Emergency Management and Public Safety personnel, Amateur Radio and Non-Amateur Radio SKYWARN Spotters should continue to keep high situational awareness regarding the track and intensity of major Hurricane Earl. People should now be reviewing their preparedness measures for tropical storm/hurricane force conditions as a precaution in inland areas and as a requirement along the coast in the Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watch areas. This information has been provided via the Hurricane Preparedness Week Public Information Statements of Safety Tips and an updated Public Information Statement of Safety Tips as well as a Tropical Terminology Public Information Statement listed via the links below:

http://www.wx1box.org/local/hurrpre.txt
http://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.nous41.KBOX.html
http://kamala.cod.edu/offs/KBOX/1009011537.nous41.html

The VoIP Hurricane Net and Hurricane Watch Net along with WX4NHC, Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center will activate at 4 PM Thursday Afternoon for Earl’s closest path to the Outer Banks and Eastern North Carolina, Eastern Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula. These nets will likely activate again Friday for Earl’s closest path to New England. It is noted that the VoIP Hurricane Net will merge into one large command net with New England Echolink/IRLP operations as it approaches New England. Please see these web sites for information on the Hurricane Nets and the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center, WX4NHC:

Hurricane Watch Net:
http://www.hwn.org

Voip Hurricane Net:
http://www.voipwx.net

WX4NHC Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center:
http://www.wx4nhc.org

From a spotting perspective, we will be looking for any and all reports per the SKYWARN reporting criteria. We’ll also be looking for lowest barometric pressure readings across Southeast New England. Also, pictures of damage and incidents as they occur in near real-time or shortly after release will be very helpful to media, emergency manamgement, the National Hurricane Center and the NWS Taunton Forecast Office. A reminder on SKYWARN Net frequencies for the region via the link below:

http://www.wx1box.org/node/37

SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Taunton are likely Friday Morning into Saturday Morning based on the current track and intensity of Hurricane Earl. Massachusetts State EOC RACES and MEMA RACES Regional Office activation is slated to occur Friday Morning. Eastern Massachusetts ARES will be placed on stand-by starting at 7 AM ET Friday Morning lasting through 7 PM Saturday Evening.

The latest NWS Taunton Hurricane Local Statement, Hazardous Weather Outlook, Area Forecast Discussion and National Hurricane Center Advisory information on Earl are listed below:

NWS Taunton Hurricane Local Statement:
http://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.wtus81.KBOX.html

NWS Taunton Hazardous Weather Outlook:
http://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.flus41.KBOX.html

NWS Taunton Area Forecast Discussion:
http://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.fxus61.KBOX.html

National Hurricane Center – Miami Florida Information:

Hurricane Earl Public Advisory Information:
http://kamala.cod.edu/TPC/latest.wtnt32.KNHC.html

Hurricane Earl Technical Discussion Information:
http://kamala.cod.edu/TPC/latest.wtnt42.KNHC.html

Hurricane Earl Forecast/Advisory Information:
http://kamala.cod.edu/TPC/latest.wtnt22.KNHC.html

Hurricane Earl Wind Speed Probabilities:
http://kamala.cod.edu/TPC/latest.font12.KNHC.html

The next coordination message will likely be posted Thursday Evening pending further computer model data on the track of Earl and significant updates to Earl’s status as a tropical system from an intensity perspective.

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator         
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
http://www.wx1box.org

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Boxboro Hamfest/New England ARRL Division Convention Features ARES/RACES/SKYWARN Booth/Presentations

Hello to all..

The Boxboro Hamfest and New England ARRL Division Convention will be held Friday August 27th-29th at the Holiday Inn in Boxboro Massachusetts. General information on the Hamfest/Convention including the complete forum program, schedule, dinners, vendors and other events can be seen via the following link:

http://www.boxboro.org

There will be a RACES/ARES/SKYWARN booth at the Boxboro Hamfest/New England Division Convention staffed by Eastern Massachusetts ARES, RACES, SKYWARN personnel who can answer questions on the various EMCOMM programs in Massachusetts and direct folks within the New England Division to resources within their section. Please stop by and visit the booth during the convention/hamfest. Sign-ups for ARES and SKYWARN and various email lists will be taken at the booth throughout the convention timeframe. Additional booths by other organizations will be present and see boxboro.org for more information.

The Hamfest and New England Division Convention will feature the following in regards to SKYWARN/ARES/RACES/MARS/EMCOMM related items:

-SKYWARN Training on Friday August 27th, 2010 from 1-4 PM in the Cotillion Room at the Holiday Inn in Boxboro. The session is open to anyone wishing to receive SKYWARN training

-ICS-100 Training Class on Friday August 27th, 2010 from 9 AM-4:30 PM in the Seminar Room

Emergency Communications/SKYWARN Presentations on Saturday August 28th, 2010 in the Seminar Conference Room:

-Winlink 2000/Winmor presentation by Massacusetts State RACES Radio Officer Tom Kinahan-N1CPE from 9-10 AM.

-Vermont RACES by Rob Schnell-W1RVT, John Borichevesky-N1TOX and Ray Machell-KC1BT from 10-11 AM.

-SKYWARN Overview presented by Rob Macedo-KD1CY from 11 AM-Noon.

-ARES SEC Forum moderated by Rob Macedo-KD1CY with presentations from various ARES Section Emergency Coordinators and their designees Noon-1 PM.

Emeregency Communications Presentations on Sunday August 29th, 2010:

-Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines MARS Joint Meeting moderated by Bob Veth-K1RJV/NNN0FCC in the Cotillion Conference Room from 10 AM-Noon. Open to all Amateur Radio Operators

Once again, a complete forum schedule, vendors and other information on the Boxboro Hamfest/New England Division Convention are available via their web site at http://www.boxboro.org

We look forward to seeing many folks at the convention!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator    
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
http://www.wx1box.org

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Rhode Island SKYWARN Training Sessions for July 2010 Announced

Hello to all..

We have two confirmed SKYWARN Training sessions for the state of Rhode Island. The sessions for Rhode Island were delayed due to the March 2010 Flood Disasters which tied up Amateur Radio SKYWARN Coordinators and Emergency Management Officials who were very busy with the response and recovery phases of that federally declared disaster at a time when we would normally book SKYWARN training sessions for the region. Work is still being done to possibly confirm a session in the Newport, RI area which may occur later in the summer or Fall timeframe. Below are the training session dates and locations in Rhode Island and links to the updated schedules:

Links to the updated SKYWARN Training Schedule information:
http://www.wx1box.org/node/36
http://www.erh.noaa.gov/box/officePrograms/skywarn/skywarnTraining.shtml

Schedule listing below:
Saturday July 24th, 2010 1-4 PM:
Kent Hospital (Doctors Auditorium – East Side of the Complex)
455 Tollgate Road
Warwick, RI
Taught by: Amateur Radio Coordinator
Registration: None required.

Thursday July 29th, 2010 630-930 PM:
Burrillville Police Station (Municipal Court)
1477 Victory Highway
Burrillville, RI
Taught by: NWS Forecasters
Registration: Please RSVP to the following email address: ema at burrillville dot org

Additional training sessions in Southeast Massachusetts will be worked on for later summer and early fall with possibly a few other sessions in other parts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire in the Fall timeframe.

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator   
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
http://www.wx1box.org

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Storm Coordination Message #3 – 3/28/2010 at 750 PM Update

Hello to all..

..Major Slow Moving Coastal Storm to Affect the region with heavy rainfall, the potential for significant river/stream/urban flooding, minor to moderate coastal flooding and a period of strong winds..
..A Flood Watch remains in effect for Southern New Hampshire, Northern Connecticut, Rhode Island and all of Massachusetts except for Cape Cod and the Islands and Block Island Rhode Island. The potential now exists for 3-6″ of rain with isolated higher amounts with widespread moderate to potentially pockets of major river, stream, and urban flooding..
..A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for the northern part of Narragansett Bay from 6-10 AM for the Monday Morning High Tide. Coastal flooding at the time of high tide remains a potential threat over a wider part of the South Coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island for the Monday Evening high tide shifting to East Coastal Massachusetts and Cape Cod and the Islands for the Tuesday Afternoon and Evening high tides..
..A period of strong winds may occur along parts of the Southern New England Coast line Tuesday Morning with a Wind Advisory likely to be required..
..SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Taunton is likely for an extended period of time. Activation will commence at 3 PM Monday Afternoon and is likely to last straight through late Tuesday Evening..
..ARES/RACES/MARS and other EMCOMM groups should closely monitor the progress of this situation and seek advice from local leadership..

A slow-moving coastal storm will take aim on Southern New England in the Monday through Wednesday Morning timeframe. It will bring a myriad of weather hazards with the biggest threats being river, stream and urban flooding of a widespread moderate with pockets of major flooding and coastal flooding at the time of high tide. A period of strong winds could also occur on the coastline. The following is a breakdown of the weather hazards.

River/Stream/Urban Flood Threat:
A Flood Watch remains in effect for Southern New Hampshire, Northern Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts except for Cape Cod and the Islands and Block Island RI. With latest model runs since the previous coordination message, it is now expected that 3-6″ of rain with isolated higher amounts are likely across much of the Flood Watch area though heavier axes of the heaviest rainfall have yet to be totally confirmed. It appears that area from the Merrimack River area through the Connecticut River Valley have the highest potential for significant and potentially major flooding. That said, rivers remain very high from all the rainfall seen in the month of March. Therefore, widespread moderate to potentially major flooding are likely across portions of the flood watch area beyond this more favored region and this will include urban areas as well. This situation should be watched very closely across the entire Flood Watch area.

Coastal Flood Threat:
The coastal flood threat will start on the South Coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island as high astronomical tides combine with strong winds to allow for minor coastal flooding along south and east facing coasts. The South Coast Minor Coastal Flood threat as shifted to the Monday Evening high tide versus the morning high tide with the exception of the north shore of Narragansett Bay where a Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect from 6-10 AM for the possibility of pockets of minor coastal flooding in that area. For the Monday Evening timeframe, a more widespread minor coastal flood event is possible from Point Judith RI through Wareham, Massachusetts. Winds will then shift more towards the east and coupled with the high astronomical tides could bring widespread minor to potentially pockets of moderate coastal flooding to East Coastal Massachusetts during the Tuesday Afternoon and possibly the Tuesday Evening high tides as well.

Wind Threat:
A period of wind gusts to 50 MPH may occur during the storm. The timeframe of impact of these winds appears to be Tuesday Morning and odds are increasing for a Wind Advisory to be issued for parts of the coastal plain as we get closer to this timeframe.

SKYWARN Activation Status:
SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Taunton will commence by 3 PM Monday Afternoon and will likely require overnight operations Monday Night into Tuesday Morning with activation likely continuing through late Tuesday Evening. Further fine-tuning of the SKYWARN Activation status will occur as we get into this event. ARES/RACES/MARS and other EMCOMM groups should closely monitor the progress of this situation and seek advice from local leadership.

The next coordination message will be issued 12 PM Monday Afternoon. Below is the NWS Taunton Flood Watch Statement, Flood Statement, Coastal Flood Advisory Statement and Hazardous Weather Outlook:

NWS Taunton Flood Watch Statement:
http://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.wgus61.KBOX.html

NWS Taunton Flood Statement:
http://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.wgus81.KBOX.html

NWS Taunton Coastal Flood Advisory Statement:
http://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.whus41.KBOX.html

NWS Taunton Hazardous Weather Outlook:
http://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.flus41.KBOX.html

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
http://www.wx1box.org

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Massachusetts Pending Cell Phone Bill Legislation H-4475

Hello to all…

Massachusetts ARRL State Government Liaison, Shawn O’Donnell-K3HI, has been following and has put together a summary on pending cell phone legislation bill H-4475 and what it says and does not say about Amateur Radio. We encourage Amateurs to closely follow Shawn O’Donnell’s instructions in his info that we have posted to the ema.arrl.org web site. See link below:

http://ema.arrl.org/node/1661

It is noted that ARES Emergency Coordinator for Scituate, Massachusetts, Bob Callahan-W1QWT, has already been successful in getting state representative Jim Cantwell from his district to push an ammendment exempting federally licensed Amateur Radio Operators specifically from this legislation. When writing to your state senator, it may be good to mention this ammendment and the fact that this ammendment was in similar cell phone bill legislation a few years ago but that whole cell phone bill legislation was later defeated in the legislature.

Thanks to all for their support!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: (508) 346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://www.wx1box.org
http://ares.ema.arrl.org

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Storm Coordination Message # 4- 2/10-2/11/2010 Major Winter Storm Event

Hello to all..

..Major Winter Storm to affect portions of Southern New England..
..A Winter Storm Warning is in effect from 8 AM Wednesday to 1 AM Thursday for Northern Connecticut, all of Rhode Island, Hampden, Hampshire, Central and Southeast Middlesex, Southern Worcester, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bristol, Plymouth Counties of Massachusetts and Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. Amounts along and north of the Mass. Pike will be 4-9 inches with the higher amounts closer to the Pike. Amounts south of the Mass Pike will range from 9-15 inches with isolated higher amounts..
..A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Nantucket Island from 3 PM Wednesday to 1 AM Thursday for 4-8 inches of snow. A snow, sleet, rain mix will hold down snow amounts and delay the storm in this area but warning criteria snowfall is still expected on Nantucket..
..A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Franklin, Northern Worcester, Essex and Northern Middlesex Counties of Massachusetts for 3-6 inches of snow. The Winter Storm Watch for Southern New Hampshire has been cancelled with only 1-3″ inches expected in this area with highest amounts closest to the Massachusetts state line..
..A High Wind Warning remains in effect for Cape Cod and the Islands from 6 PM Wednesday to 5 AM Thursday..
..The combination of potentially heavy wet snow especially at the coast and strong wind gusts of 40-55 MPH in Southeast New England with the potential for wind gusts as high as 60 MPH over Cape cod and the islands could result in power outages and tree and power line damage. These conditions could also cause a period of near blizzard conditions. All in the Winter Storm Warning and High Wind Warning areas should closely monitor the progress of this system..
..There could be a sharp cutoff of heavy snow versus lighter snow across the warning area where just 20-30 miles could make the difference between heavy snow accumulations and lighter amounts. This means some snowfall amounts over the northern parts of the region are lower confidence versus over southern parts of the region..
..SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Taunton are likely starting at 10 AM Wednesday lasting through early Thursday Morning..
..ARES/RACES Groups should closely montior the progress of this significant coastal storm/nor’easter to impact Southern New England and seek advice from local leadership. Eastern Massachusetts ARES will be placed on stand-by starting at 10 AM Wednesday through Thursday Morning. RACES will be active at the Massachusetts State EOC. Also, have received word that Connecticut ARES is on a level-2 mode to monitor the storm situation…

Model runs continue to be similar on the track of the storm though their remains a sharp cutoff in the heavy snow versus lighter snows and the position of this sharp cutoff could cause snow amounts in the northern areas to be much too high or much too low depending on where this cutoff occurs. A difference of just 20-30 miles could make a huge difference in this cutoff. This message reflects the current thinking as o this morning.

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect from 8 AM Wednesday through 1 AM Thursday over Northern Connecticut, Rhode Island and Southeast Massachusetts including Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, Suffolk, Southern Worcester, Hampden and Norfolk County Massachusetts. This area is now expected to receive 9-15 inches of snow with isolated higher amounts possible to the south and amounts closer to 9″ in the northern part of the warning area. A Winter Storm Warning is now in effect for Central and Southeast Middlesex, and Hampshire Counties of Massachusetts from 8 AM-1 PM Thursday for 4-9″ of snow. In this part of the area the highest amounts are expected closest to the Mass Pike and there could be a sharp cutoff in heavier snowfall accumulations versus lighter amounts as stated previously.

On Nantucket Island, the Winter Storm Warning is now in effect from 3 PM Wednesday to 1 AM Thursday for 4-8 inches of snow. Precipitation will likely start as a period of mixed snow, sleet and rain before changing over to snow this afternoon and becoming heavy and wet. The wet snow clinging to trees and power lines along with potential wind gusts to 60 MPH could cause tree and power line damage in this area as well so a high impact is possible though snowfall amounts will be lower.

A Winter Weather Advisory is now in effect for Franklin, Northern Worcester, Essex and Northern Middlesex Counties of Massachusetts for 3-6 inches of snow with locally higher amounts in the southern parts of the advisory area. Across Southern New Hampshire, the Winter Storm Watch has been cancelled and only 1-3 inches of snow is expected there with the highest amounts near the Massachusetts border.

The storm will also have strong wind gusts up to 40 MPH in the interior portion of the Winter Storm Warning area with coastal areas of the Winter Storm Warning seeing winds of 40-55 MPH in gusts. Over Cape Cod and the Islands, a High Wind Warning is in effect from 6 PM Wednesday through 5 AM Thursday and in this area wind gusts of up to 60 MPH and possibly slightly higher could occur. The combination of the strong to damaging winds and the heavy wet snow potentially clinging to trees and power lines could result in tree and power line damage and power outages. This will be monitored closely. In addition, if the snow is falling heavy enough and not mixed with sleet and rain, a period of near blizzard conditions could occur in the Southeast New England portion of the Winter Storm Warning in particular. This will also be monitored closely.

Any coastal flooding is expected to be minor and would be on north and east facing coastline of East Coastal Massachusetts. The greatest risk for minor coastal flooding would be over the Outer Cape and Nantucket Island.

SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Taunton will start at approximately 10 AM lasting through early Thursday Morning. Snowfall reports, changeover in precip type and damage reports from wet snow/wind and wind measurements will be very critical to providing situational awareness to emergency management and for NWS forecasters for the warning process. We appreciate SKYWARN Spotters activating and being on high alert for this storm particularly in areas along and south of the Mass. Pike.

ARES/RACES Groups should closely montior the progress of this significant coastal storm/nor’easter to impact Southern New England and seek advice from local leadership. Eastern Massachusetts ARES will be placed on stand-by starting at 10 AM Wednesday through Thursday Morning. RACES will be active at the Massachusetts State EOC. Also, have received word that Connecticut ARES is on a level-2 mode to monitor the storm situation.

This will be the last coordination message for this storm system. Below is the NWS Taunton Winter Storm Warning/Watch Statement, High Wind Warning Statement and Hazardous Weather Outlook:

NWS Taunton Winter Storm Warning/Watch Statement:
http://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.wwus41.KBOX.html

NWS Taunton High Wind Warning Statement:
http://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.wwus71.KBOX.html

NWS Taunton Hazardous Weather Outlook:
http://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.flus41.KBOX.html

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator   
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
http://www.wx1box.org

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Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holiday Season to All!

Hello to all..

The National Weather Service (NWS) Taunton SKYWARN Coordinator team and the staff of forecasters at NWS Taunton would like to take a moment to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holiday Season to all. It was another extremely successful year for the NWS Taunton SKYWARN program in 2009.

While the summer of 2009 was not as active in terms of number of events versus the summer of 2008, it was still a fairly active summer with several significant severe weather episodes resulting in 2 tornadoes in the NWS Taunton County Warning Area and several microburst/macroburst events in the region. The winter has gotten off to a busy start with 3 significant SKYWARN Activations in the month of December including one as recently as this past weekend for the Blizzard of 2009. The reports that are received by the SKYWARN Spotter and Amateur Radio SKYWARN Spotter community are a very important part of the forecasting and warning process for the National Weather Service in Taunton and is becoming increasingly critical for local, state and federal emergency management officials to gather situational awarenes and disaster intelligence on events that start out significant at the local level and could become a more widespread incident over time when severe winter or summer weather strikes. This was recently acknowledged by the attendance of FEMA and MEMA (Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency) officials who attended the last SKYWARN Coordinators Meeting that coincided with SKYWARN Recognition Day. The high level of reporting from SKYWARN Spotters and Amateur Radio SKYWARN Spotters serves a tremendously important function for NWS, Emergency Management and Public Safety officials.

Speaking of SKYWARN Recognition Day, the SKYWARN Recognition Dya event at NWS Taunton was another significant success. There were 309 total contacts made with 271 unique contacts to 41 NWS Forecast Offices. Further details will be posted in the next SKYWARN Newsletter.

In terms of SKYWARN Training, we had another successful ‘year round’ cycle of SKYWARN Training. In 2010, a new SKYWARN Training Spotter guide will be issued at SKYWARN training sessions. The new guide is significantly modernized and will have new photos and data based on the latest severe weather research. Further details on SKYWARN training will be posted as we get into the new year.

We, once again, wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holiday season. We look forward to working with everyone once again in 2010.

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: (508) 346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://www.wx1box.org
http://ares.ema.arrl.org

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Blizzard Coordination Message #4 – FINAL

Hello to all..

..Major Coastal Storm and Blizzard to Pound Much of Southern New England with Heavy Snowfall, Near Blizzard to Blizzard conditions with whiteout conditions likely. Strong to damaging winds will occur near and along the coast. Travel is not recommended Saturday Night and Sunday and will become difficult and nearly impossible at times in the Blizzard Warning area and southern edges of the Winter Storm Warning area..
..A Blizzard Warning remains in effect through 1 PM Sunday for South Coastal Massachusetts and Cape Cod and the Islands and has been expanded to include all of Bristol and Plymouth Counties of Massachusetts and all except Western Kent and North Providence Counties of Rhode Island for 12-16″ of snow with higher amounts in heavier snow bands up to 18″ possible in isolated locations, sustained winds of 25-35 MPH with gusts to 50-60 MPH and the potential for pockets of wind damage and power outages..
..A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect through Noon Sunday for Northern Connecticut, North-Central Rhode Island and Eastern Massachusetts and now includes Hampden, Eastern Hampshire, Northern Middlesex and all of Worcester County for a widespread area of 6-12″ of snow and a band of 10-15″ of snow in the warning area particlarly across Northern Connecitcut, Northwest RI and parts of Eastern Massachusetts..
..A Winter Weather Advisory is now in effect from 10 PM this evening through 1 PM Sunday for 3-6″ of snow for Franklin and Western Hampshire County Massachusetts and all of Southern New Hampshire..
..SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Taunton will commence at 6 PM Saturday lasting through early Sunday Afternoon. Overnight Operations will be done due to the severity of the storm..
..ARES/RACES Groups should closely monitor the progress of this major storm and seek advice from local/section ARES/RACES leadership. Eastern Massachusetts ARES will be placed on stand-by at 8 PM ET Saturday through Sunday Evening. Massachusetts State EOC and Region 1 and 2 offices will be in a partial activation starting around or before 9 PM..

A major coastal storm and blizzard will pound Southern New England with heavy snowfall and near blizzard to blizzard conditions. Along and near the coast strong to damaging winds will have the potential to cause pockets of tree and power line damage and power outages. The region from Boston to Providence south through the Cape and Islands will have a period of difficult to impossible travel overnight into Sunday Morning. The following is the latest information as of 5 PM this evening:

A Blizzard Warning remains in effect through 1 PM Sunday for South Coastal Massachusetts and Rhode Island and Cape Cod and the Islands and now includes all of Bristol and Plymouth Counties of Massachusetts and all of Rhode Island except for Northwest Providence and Western Kent Counties. This area will have the potential to see 10-15″ of snow with higher amounts in heavier snow bands of up to 18″ in a few locations and a period of whiteout/blizzard conditions. Winds will increase to sustained winds of 25-35 MPH with gusts in the 50-60 MPH range near the coast with 20-30 MPH winds with 40-50 MPH gusts in locations away from the coast. This will have the potential to cause isolated to scattered pockets of tree and power line damage. Travel will become difficult if not impossible during the Blizzard Warning timeframe and travel is not recommended.

It is noted that with the track a bit more northwest that portions of the Outer Cape and Nantucket Island may have a period of mixed precipitation with sleet and rain before changing back to snow. This may cut down amounts in these areas but should still achieve warning thresholds. It is noted that this may mean a wetter snow for portions of the Cape Cod and the Islands and along with the strong winds could cause some additional damage to trees and power lines. This is an aspect of the storm that is hard to know hours ahead of time but an item that should be monitored for portions of the Blizzard Warning region.

A Winter Storm Warning remians in effect through Noon Sunday for the remainder of Eastern Massachusetts, Northwest Rhode Island and Northern Connecticut and now includes all of Worcester County Massachusetts, Hampden and Eastern Hampshire Counties of Massachusetts. In this area, a widespread area of 6-12″ of snow with a band of 10-15″ of snow is likely with a heavier snow band in Northern Connecticut, Northwest Rhode Island and into Eastern Massachusetts. Winds will be strong in the interior parts of the warning area with sustained winds of 15-25 MPH with gusts up to 30-40 MPH and this will result in considerable blowing and drifting of snow. In the area of the Warning from Boston to the North Shore, winds may be similar to what is seen in the interior but there is also the possibility of sustained winds of 20-30 MPH with gusts of 40-50 MPH resulting in considerable blowing and drifting of snow and the potential for isolated to scattered pockets of tree and power line damage. If the stronger wind threat becomes more likely the Boston area and possibly the North Shore could be upgraded to a Blizzard Warning. Regardless, travel is not recommended in this area tonight and Sunday due to the heavy snow and significant blowing and drifting of snow.

A Winter Weather Advisory is now in effect for Southern New Hampshire and Franklin County Massachusetts from 10 PM Saturday Evening through 1 PM Sunday for 3-6″ of snow. This area will escape a much larger blow from this coastal storm and nor’easter but will still receive a light to moderate snowfall.

SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Taunton will commence at 6 PM and last through early Sunday Afternoon. Overnight Operations will be done due to the severity of the storm. ARES/RACES groups should closely monitor the progress of this storm and seek advice from local and section ARES/RACES leadership. Eastern Massachusetts ARES will be placed on stand-by at 8 PM ET Saturday through Sunday Evening. Massachusetts State EOC and Region 1 and 2 offices will be in a partial activation starting around or before 9 PM.

This may be the last coordination message on this system as we move to storm operations mode. Below are the NWS Taunton Blizzard/Winter Storm Warning, Winter Weather Advisory Statement, Special Weather Statement and Hazardous Weather Outlook:

NWS Taunton Blizzard/Winter Storm Warning/Winter Storm Watch Statement:
http://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.wwus41.KBOX.html

NWS Taunton Special Weather Statement:
http://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.wwus81.KBOX.html

NWS Taunton Hazardous Weather Outlook:
http://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.flus41.KBOX.html

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator  
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
http://www.wx1box.org

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Special Announcement: One Year Anniversary of the December 11th-12th 2008 Major Destructive Ice Storm

Hello to all…

It has been one year since the major destructive ice storm that had a major impact on the Northeast United States and portions of Southern New England and the NWS Taunton County Warning Area on December 11th-12th, 2008 with damaging ice in portions of Southern Maine, Central and Southern New Hampshire, Western, Central and interior Northeast Massachusetts, Northwest Connecticut and portions of New York and Vermont. It is important to remember the history of such a destructive storm. This special announcement has been written to recall the events of this serious storm over the region.

It became clear by December 9th and 10th of 2008 that the region had the potential to see a destructive ice storm over the interior region of New York and New England. In addition, Southeast Massachusetts, portions of Rhode Island and Connecticut were in the path for heavy rainfall with the potential of flooding and strong to damaging winds in these areas. Just prior to the major destructive ice storm/nor’easter event, a period of strong to damaging winds affected portions of Eastern New England with mild temperatures.

Winter Storm/Ice Storm Watches were issued on December 9th and 10th and these were upgraded to Winter Storm/Ice Storm Warnings. A Flood Watch and Wind Advisory/High Wind Warnings were also issued. The storm began to unfold on Thursday December 11th starting as plain rain and as the day wore on, the rain changed to freezing rain as colder air from Canada oozed southward and was wrapped into the major storm system. By early evening, locations began to get signifcant icing and reports gradually came in of ice storm damage starting as early as 7 PM that evening. By Midnight Friday December 12th, 2008, reports were rapidly increasing of significant icing damage in the NWS Taunton County Warning Area roughly from Amesbury to Haverhill to Hudson to Marlboro to Northboro and Worcester through Southwest Worcester County Massachusetts and northward through New Hampshire, Southern Maine and Southern Vermont particularly in the higher elevations. Power, Cable and phone outages mounted and it became clear this would be one of the biggest storms to affect the region in recent memory.

It is also noted that shortly after midnight, both local area Amateur Radio repeaters in Worcester County were off the air. Through the extraordinary efforts of the Worcester Emergency Communications Team (WECT), Amateur Operators activated the city of Worcester Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and with their Amateur Radio station at nearly a 1500 foot elevation, they were able to contact stations directly and maintain contact with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Taunton until the repeaters were brough back on the air later on Friday Morning December 12th. If it were not for the efforts of the WECT, it is quite likely critical data of what the storm was doing and how severe the storm was would not have been known until hours later. Many Amateur Operators woken up by the storm to the sound of exploding electrical transformers and the snapping and knock down of large branches and trees from the icing got on the air to report what they were seeing, even in cases where some Amateur Operators, lost whole antenna arrays and suffered severe damage on their own property that they needed to go address. It is this type of effort that made the level of reporting so extraordinary and drew praise from many agencies.

At the height of the storm, over 500,000 people were without power in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. State of emergencies were declared in New Hampshire and Massachusetts where the ice storm had its most significant impact.

Amateur Radio SKYWARN Operations active throughout the storm was the first means of providing critical situational awareness and disaster intelligence information to the National Weather Service Taunton Massachusetts and Gray Maine forecast offices, state emergency management in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts and to FEMA Region 1. The first reports of significant damange and power outages were relayed by Amateur Radio Operators. Information was given by radio and other technological mechanisms to state emergency management officials. This information was also given to local media outlets. NWS Taunton SKYWARN Amateur Radio Operations were active for 27 straight hours.

In addition to the major icing in the interior, SKYWARN operations had to focus on a fairly significant and widespread moderate river and stream flood event and a major urban flood event timed for the Friday Morning December 12th, 2008 rush hour. Winds gusted to near 60 MPH downing pockets of trees and power lines. Coastal flooding occurred along south coastal areas with vulnerable shore roads closed and some homes that were not elevated getting coastal storm surge flooding. Coastal Flood and Flood Warnings for urban areas and small streams were issued. River Flood Warnings also went into effect. This added an additional dynamic to storm reporting on top of the disaster situation that occurred with the interior New England ice storm.

Amateur Radio Operators staged an ARESMAT (Amateur Radio Emergency Services Mutual Aid Team) to Gardner Massachusetts with ARES in Eastern and Western Massachusetts active supporting local shelters in specific cities and towns.  The ARESMAT that was staged to Gardner Massachusetts was the largest mutual aid team deployed since the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City. The North Shore ARES team affiliated with the North Shore Radio Association provided a significant amount of support to Gardner as did the South Shore ARES team. North Shore ARES Coordinators also served as the primary points of contact for staging people on the ARESMAT. Amateur Operators associated with RACES and Northern Middlesex County ARES supported local cities and towns severely affected by the ice storm in Chelmsford and Westford. Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services) were active at the State Emergency Operations Center and at Region 1 and Region 3/4 headquarters for almost a week due to the direct impacts of the ice storm.

It is important to know that some weather/storm situations or non-weather sitautions can evolve into a disaster without advanced warning or without the realization that a ‘run of the mill storm’ can become such a significant dusaster situation. The reporting of this data to NWS Forecast Offices and Emergency Management can be key in escalating the recovery response more rapidly when required and can help improve forecasts on severity of such storms or if conditions are not as severe as forecasted. This is why the SKYWARN program is such an important cog for both weather forecasting and Emergency Management.

There is a significant amount of data that remains online from this destructive ice storm. Links to that data appear below:

ARRL Web Articles:
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/12/15/10506/?nc=1
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/12/18/10511/?nc=1
http://ares.ema.arrl.org/node/441

Ice Storm Videos:
http://www.nsradio.org/video/features/icestorm08/rev2/
http://www.nsradio.org/video/features/icestorm08/

Ice Storm Reports:
http://nsradio.org/ARES/icestorm_121208/index.htm

Local Storm Report, Public Information Statement and Special Weather Statement
from NWS Taunton during that event:
http://www.wx1box.org/files/SPS_121208.pdf
http://www.wx1box.org/files/lsr_12_12_08.txt
http://www.wx1box.org/files/pns_12_12_08.txt

This ice storm resulted in a federal disaster declaration with over 32 Million Dollars in federal aid granted in Massachusetts, 10 Million Dollars in Maine and 15 Million Dollars in New Hampshire. The federal disaster declaration was given in early January to various states and the links below describes the aid given and to what areas by state:

Massachusetts:
http://www.fema.gov/news/event.fema?id=10968

New Hampshire:
http://www.fema.gov/news/event.fema?id=10948

Maine:
http://www.fema.gov/news/event.fema?id=11008

Vermont:
http://www.fema.gov/news/event.fema?id=11029

It is hoped that another storm of this magnitude does not affect the region. If one does, the importance of storm reporting during and shortly after the incident can not only help weather forecasts but can also support recovery efforts and expedite the arrival of resources to support an area adversely effected by dangerous severe weather. Thanks to all for your continued support of the SKYWARN Program, ARES/RACES/MARS/CERT and Emergency Management!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator 
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
http://www.wx1box.org

Read more

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