Winter Field Day

Winter Field Day Association (WFDA) is a dedicated group of Amateur Radio Operators who believe that emergency communications in a winter environment is just as important as the preparations and practice that is done each summer but with some additional unique operational concerns.

 We believe as do those entities of ARRL Organizations like ARES & RACES that maintaining your operational skills should not be limited to fair weather scenarios. The addition of Winter Field Day will enhance those already important skills of those that who generously volunteer their time and equipment to these organizations. This is why WFD is open to all licensed amateur radio operators worldwide.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS! and HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Fellow Hams of the West Texas Section:

As we rapidly approach Christmas 2018 and New Years 2019, I would like to wish you and your family a Very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year. I would also like to thank you for your continued efforts to be prepared to help your community as an Amateur Radio Operator. Your attention to maintaining your home station’s radios, antennas, power supplies, etc., the mobile equipment in your vehicles and the portable equipment in your Go Boxes is admirable. It shows a concern for your families, neighbors, communities and fellow man.

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Senator Lauds Hams in Post-Hurricane Tweet

Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker – a longtime supporter of amateur radio – used his Twitter feed in October to point out the ways in which hams helped with disaster response efforts in Florida after Hurricane Michael.

According to the ARRL Letter, Wicker tweeted that hams are trained volunteers who “help maintain critical communication to areas with no electricity, phone, or internet service.”

Northern Florida ARES Teams Handle Hurricane Duty

Over the past week, Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) teams in the ARRL Northern Florida Section went on alert and some activated to support emergency communication before and during Hurricane Michael.

Miller Norton, W4EMN, the Communications Watch Officer at the Duval County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Jacksonville, Florida, was monitoring SARnet — a UHF-linked repeater network in Florida — when he heard an urgent call for help that needed to be sent to the State EOC in Tallahassee. All other forms of communication were out, but Norton was able to relay the message to via Amateur Radio. He also passed along messages and requests from the Jackson County EOC to the American Red Cross. Norton said officials in Tallahassee and Jackson County were both “incredibly grateful” for the way the SARnet system functioned during the weather emergency.

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WWV/WWVH Ending Marine Storm Warning Broadcasts

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has announced that marine storm warning announcements from the National Weather Service – broadcast on WWV and WWVH for the past 47 years, will be terminated as of the end of October. No reason was given for the move. However, NIST has proposed shutting down WWV, WWVB and WWVH as part of its planned budget reductions for federal fiscal year 2019. It is unclear at this point whether Congress has taken final action on the NIST budget request.

We recommend that readers concerned about maintaining funding for WWV and its sister stations contact their Congressional representatives as soon as possible

ARRL Headquarters, Hurricane Watch Net, SATERN Monitoring Active Storms

With active storms in the Atlantic and Pacific basins, ARRL Headquarters, the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN), and the Salvation Army Team Emergency Network (SATERN) are all on alert. The most imminent storm is Hurricane Florence, now a major Category 3 storm, which is set to strike the Carolinas later this week. Hurricane Watch Net Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, said over the weekend that the net is keeping a close eye on Hurricanes Florence and Isaac, a Category 1 storm that could affect the Lesser Antilles before heading into the eastern Caribbean.

“Florence is expected to affect the US East Coast midweek, [with] Isaac affecting the Windward Islands about the same time,” Graves said. “The impact of Florence could be catastrophic, as it is forecast to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane.” Graves notes that Charleston, South Carolina, was last hit by Category 4 storm when Hugo made landfall in 1989.

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