Storm & Boston Marathon Weather Coordination Message #1 – Monday 4/15/19

Hello to all…

..Strong Storm System will bring mild temperatures through Southern New England including along the Boston Marathon route along with the potential for rain and heavier downpours and potentially isolated thunderstorms with attendant lightning risk. There is also the potential for strong winds during Marathon Monday under any heavier rain showers and thunderstorms and then as a cold front pass through the area..
..Boston Marathon volunteers and runners should prepare for the rain and changeable temperatures with largely mild conditions but a slightly cool start and a cooler mid to late afternoon from west to east across the marathon route..
..SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Boston/Norton will commence at 600 AM Monday for the storm on Marathon Monday lasting through at least 600 PM Monday Evening..

The following is the annual Boston Marathon Coordination Weather Message as well as storm coordination message for the upcoming storm system Sunday Night through late Monday Afternoon:

While this may be a bit off topic for some SKYWARN Spotters, Amateur Radio Operators and Red Cross volunteers, many of which are SKYWARN Spotters, will be involved in the Boston Marathon on Monday April 15th. To reach out to the highest level of Amateur Radio Operators involved in the event, this coordination message is being sent out to the SKYWARN email list and posted to the various Amateur Radio lists. We appreciate everyone’s patience with this message. This is a joint message between the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES)-SKYWARN program at NWS Boston/Norton and Eastern Massachusetts ARES. Due to the storm conditions and the fact some level of SKYWARN Activation will occur, messages will occur through at least Sunday Evening on the storm event.

Eastern Massachusetts ARES members not participating in the Boston Marathon are requested to be on standby for marathon activities on Monday April 15th from 6 AM-7 PM for any significant issues outside of the Boston Marathon that may require Amateur Radio Emergency Communications support and for any unexpected issues on the Boston Marathon route. With over 280 Amateur Radio Operators staffing the Boston Marathon route, the start line and the finish line, if an issue arises needing Amateur Radio support outside of the Marathon route or an unexpected issue arises in marathon operations, it is important that any ARES members not involved in the marathon can help with any response that is required. The Amateur Radio Station at the National Weather Service in Boston/Norton, WX1BOX, will be active on Monday April 15th for the Boston Marathon to provide weather support to the Amateur Radio community participating in the marathon and to gather any weather reports of significance during the marathon. This station will also be used to coordinate any ARES response to any significant incidents regarding Amateur Radio support outside of the marathon zone including any incidents that need to be provided to the State EOC for situational awareness information.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Multi-Agency Coordination Center (MACC) at the SEOC (State Emergency Operations Center) will be active for the Boston Marathon. Amateur Radio Operators will be at the SEOC to support Amateur Radio communications and will be on the air under call sign, WC1MA, while many agencies will be there performing primary operations for the marathon.

The weather outlook is definitely less than ideal for volunteers and also not ideal for runners either with rain, wind and changeable temperatures with mild conditions for much of the race cooling down towards later afternoon. Rain will become widespread across the marathon route in the late Sunday Night and Monday morning hours with the heaviest rain expected in the morning to early afternoon hours. This may result in some poor drainage street flooding in the region. Rain will become less widespread during the afternoon. Strong winds are also possible with wind gusts in the 20-30 MPH range with isolated higher gusts in any heavier downpours during the morning and early afternoon. As a cold front passes through during the afternoon hours after 2-3 PM, 30-45 MPH gusts will sweep across the area and the marathon course rate. This could result in isolated pockets of tree and wire damage and isolated power outages. An isolated thunderstorm or two with attendant lightning risk is also possible but exact locations and whether they would occur on the marathon route are difficult to determine. All runners, volunteers and spectators should monitor future weather forecasts and should prepare accordingly for these conditions. SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Boston/Norton will commence at 600 AM Monday for the storm on Marathon Monday lasting through 600 PM Monday Evening. Below is the NWS Boston/Norton Hazardous Weather Outlook and Enhanced Hazardous Weather Outlook:

NWS Boston/Norton Hazardous Weather Outlook:

NWS Boston/Norton Enhanced Hazardous Weather Outlook:

From a SKYWARN perspective, the 146.64-Waltham Repeater and 145.23-Boston Repeater are being utilized for Marathon operations. From an ARES perspective, the Minutemen Repeater Association Repeater Network is being utilized for marathon operations. Please review the SKYWARN Frequency listing for your closest alternate repeater from a SKYWARN or ARES perspective.

For Amateur Radio, Red Cross and all other volunteers along the route, it is recommended that you dress in layers for this event so that you can put on or take off clothes as needed for comfort. Temperatures will be mild during the day and even at the start of marathon operations, temperatures will be in the upper 40s to low 50s and then warm to the 60s and possibly low 70s but cool off later in the day back into the upper 40s to lower 50s. Given these temperature ranges, it will be important to have clothes for cool conditions that you can then shed during the day as temperatures warm and then can put back on the layers as it cools later in the day. Rain gear is a must either with a clear poncho or a rain coat where you can still display appropriate credentials outside of the raincoat. Be sure to drink liquids and eat properly during the event and that you are self-sufficient so that you can be of full help to the function and not distract everyone from the main purpose of supporting the runners by having a health issue on your end that can be avoided. For volunteers, the BAA has sent around via email weather safety tips and suggestions on clothing and other safety tips though we would tell folks to have layers of clothes to account for temperature changes from cool to mild/warm to cool during the course of the day and have clothes to protect yourself from wet conditions as outlined above.

For those people that are planning to go to the Boston Marathon as spectators, the following link details guidelines for spectators for the 2019 Boston Marathon:

Another coordination message will be posted by 1100 AM Sunday Morning. We appreciate everyone’s support in this event and hope those that volunteer enjoy themselves and feel the self-satisfaction of supporting this historic event and those that are monitoring the Marathon or events outside of the Marathon realize that the monitoring is an important function as well and is a testament to being able to scale other incidents beyond the marathon if required. 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:
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