WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-40

BIKE MS CITRUS TOUR 2022 DATE SET.  BIKE MS CITRUS TOUR VOLUNTEERS HELPING OUT WITH BIKE MS PGA CYCLE TO THE SHORE IN OCTOBER.

The date for the Bike MS Citrus Tour 2022 has been set for Saturday March 5, 2022 and Sunday March 6, 2022.  The Bike MS Citrus Tour will start and finish both days at the Omni Resort at Champions Gate which is near the Osceola/Polk County line, with over 95 percent of the ride in the northern and eastern portions of Polk County.  The ARRL West Central Florida Section has sponsored the amateur radio communications for the Bike MS Citrus Tour since 2018.  The Bike MS Citrus Tour for 2021 was cancelled due to concerns from COVID-19.  For more information on the Bike MS Citrus Tour or to sign up to volunteer to help with communications, please go to the amateur radio Bike MS Citrus Tour page at https://www.citrustour.org/

A group of veteran Bike MS Citrus Tour volunteers have accepted the invitation to go up to the Northern Florida Section to assist with communications for the Bike MS PGA Tour Cycle To The Shore on Saturday October 23, 2021 and Sunday October 24, 2021. that will run this year from St. Augustine to Daytona Beach near or along the Florida east coast.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-39

NEW EMERGENCY COORDINATOR APPOINTED FOR PASCO COUNTY

On Tuesday July 27, 2021, Mike Douglas W4MDD, Section Manager of the ARRL West Central Florida Section, appointed Tim Cunningham KM4YGV, to be the new ARRL Emergency Coordinator for Pasco County.  Cunningham succeeds Bill Fetta N7CGC who stepped down as ARRL Emergency Coordinator due to personal reasons.  Fetta had served as ARRL Emergency Coordinator since June 2021.  Fetta has stayed on as an Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Pasco County ARES.

Cunningham was first licensed in the middle of 2016 but had been interested in amateur radio since he was a shortwave listener in the 1970’s.  Cunningham brings experience to the position he had obtained in his professional career as a Firefighter, having been out in the field for many weather events all over the State of Florida.

Cunningham made the following statement about his appointment as ARRL Emergency Coordinator, “My years in the Fire dept offered me boots on the ground experience during most of the big weather events all over Florida and many major fires throughout but as a worker bee, I was never invited into the air-conditioned comfort of the EOC, ICP.  At Pasco County ARES/RACES, I’ve met a strong core of “retired” ARES former ECs and EOC managers that are mentoring me and assisting in building Pasco County ARES/RACES into a premier organization.”

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-38

NEW TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK EMAIL NOTIFICATION LIST UNVEILED

 

Joe Tomasone AB2M, an ARRL Technical Specialist here in the ARRL West Central Florida Section who created the ARESDB database in 2001 in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, recently announced a new email list to which ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel may subscribe, to receive the National Hurricane Center Tropical Weather Outlook when it is issued four times a day during the Atlantic hurricane season and at other times as warranted.

To subscribe to this new Tropical Weather Outlook email dissemination list, you may sign up at http://lists.aresdb.com/mailman/listinfo/tropicaloutlook.  The ARRL West Central Florida Section extends its sincere thanks to Joe Tomasone AB2M for creating this new service to amateur radio operators and for the continuous service of the ARESDB database for the past 20 years.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-37

EMERGENCY COORDINATOR REAPPOINTED AND NEW SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR APPOINTED


Christine Duez K4KJN was reappointed as ARRL Emergency Coordinator for Polk County ARES on Wednesday August 4th, 2021.  Duez was reappointed as ARRL Emergency Coordinator due to Mike Shreve N6MRS stepping down as the ARRL Emergency Coordinator due to personal reasons.  Duez had previously served as ARRL Emergency Coordinator for Polk County ARES from July 2020 through May 2021.

Duez was also appointed as Section Emergency Coordinator on Thursday August 5th, 2021, succeeding Norman Xanders WX4NEX, who had been Section Emergency Coordinator since early May 2021.

Mike Douglas W4MDD, Section Manager of the ARRL West Central Florida Section made the following statement concerning this reappointment and appointment, “I reappointed Christine Duez K4KJN, as ARRL Emergency Coordinator of Polk County.  I also appointed Christine as Section Emergency Coordinator to replace Norman Xanders WX4NEX.  I take full responsibility for the way Christine was abruptly removed from the post of EC Polk County and for that I apologize. Christine’s removal should have never happened.  Going forward I will not be pressured into making decisions I have not looked at first.”

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #21-14 – FINAL – 1800 EDT – 8/14/21

REMNANTS OF FRED – 1800 EDT – 8/14/21

At 1100 EDT today, the National Hurricane Center could not find a closed center of circulation and declared Fred to no longer be a tropical cyclone.  However, they are reasonably confident it will re-obtain tropical cyclone status sometime in the next 24 hours.

At 500 PM EDT (2100 UTC), the remnants of Fred were located near latitude 24.0 North, longitude 84.6 West. The remnants are moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h). A motion toward the northwest is expected tonight through Sunday night, with a turn toward the north expected on Monday. On the forecast track, the system will cross the southeastern Gulf of Mexico tonight, cross the central and northern Gulf of Mexico Sunday and Monday, and move inland along the northern Gulf coast Monday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. Fred is expected to re-develop into a tropical depression late tonight or on Sunday, with gradual strengthening to a tropical storm expected after the system re-develops.
* Formation chance through 48 hours…high…90 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days…high…90 percent.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1012 mb (29.89 inches).

COASTAL WATCHES/WARNINGS AND FORECAST CONE FOR STORM CENTER

SUMMARY OF 0500 PM EDT…2100 UTC…INFORMATION

LOCATION…24.0N 84.6W
ABOUT 150 MI…240 KM WNW OF HAVANA CUBA
ABOUT 510 MI…820 KM SSE OF MOBILE ALABAMA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…35 MPH…55 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 13 MPH…20 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1012 MB…29.89 INCHES

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Interests in the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico from Mississippi to the central Florida Panhandle should monitor the progress of the remnants of Fred. Watches and warnings could be required for portions of this area tonight or Sunday.

FORECAST DISCUSSION:

The following excerpt is from the Forecast Discussion issued at 1700 EDT today:

“Satellite imagery this afternoon shows that a broad and elongated circulation has formed in association with the remnants of Fred, and that the convection has become more concentrated at the east end of the elongated center. However, neither the circulation nor the convection are organized enough to justify calling the system a tropical cyclone at this time. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to survey the remnants of Fred this evening to see how far the re-development has progressed.

The initial motion is a still very uncertain 300/11. The system is expected to move northwestward around the western periphery of the subtropical ridge, with a turn toward the north expected as the system nears and moves inland along the northern Gulf coast in 48-60h. The forecast guidance remains in good agreement on this general scenario and the new NHC forecast track is close the the consensus models. However, some adjustments to the track forecast could occur depending on where the center of Fred re-forms. Therefore, users should not concentrate on the details of the forecast track, which
could change quite a bit during the next day or so.

The global models are now in better agreement that the upper-level trough over the eastern Gulf of Mexico that has been hindering the development of Fred will move northward and weaken during the next 24 h. They also indicate that Fred is likely to re-form a well-defined closed circulation over the eastern Gulf of Mexico Sunday morning. Thus, the intensity forecast now calls for Fred to regain tropical cyclone status in about 12 h, followed by gradual strengthening until landfall in a less than ideal upper-level wind
environment. After landfall, the system should weaken and dissipate between 96-120 h. The new NHC intensity forecast follows the overall trend of the intensity guidance.

Although no coastal watches or warnings are currently in effect, the National Hurricane Center will continue 6-hourly advisories on the remnants of Fred in anticipation of re-development. Watches could be required for portions of the northern Gulf coast tonight,
and warnings may be required on Sunday.”

SITUATION AND ACTIONS:

At this time there are no watches or warnings in effect for the ARRL West Central Florida Section or the entire State of Florida.

Several ARES Groups stood down today from stand by status.  Once final confirmation is received that all ARES groups have stood down, we will return the Section ARES Alert Level to No Alert.  It is possible that some ARES groups may remain at a stand by status due to slowly increasing threat from Tropical Storm Grace.   Note:  The Section ARES Alert Level simply reflects the activation status of local ARES groups in the ARRL West Central Florida Section.  Each ARES groups activates at the request of their served agencies and or in accordance with their local ARES plan.

All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel are encouraged to continue to check each advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center in Miami and any advisories or Hurricane Local Statements issued by the National Weather Service Office in Ruskin.

LATEST NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER INFORMATION:

Public Advisories:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT1+shtml/112039.shtml
Forecast Advisory:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCMAT1+shtml/112039.shtml?
Forecast Discussion:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT1+shtml/112040.shtml

CONCLUSION

This will be the last WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN on the Remnants of Fred, unless the threat to the Florida peninsula significantly increases.

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETINS could commence on Tropical Storm Grace either tomorrow or Monday 8/16/21, depending upon the forecast track.

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #21-13 – 1800 EDT – 8/13/21

TROPICAL DEPRESSION FRED – 1800 EDT – 8/13/21

Since the 1100 EDT advisory earlier today, Tropical Depression Fred was headed nearly west for several hours.  As a result, the forecast track has shifted significantly west, the first real significant shift of the forecast track in several days.

At 500 PM EDT (2100 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Fred was  located near latitude 21.3 North, longitude 75.3 West. The depression is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Friday. A turn toward the northwest is expected Friday night or Saturday. On the forecast track, Fred is expected to move along or just north of eastern and central Cuba tonight and Friday, and be near the Florida Keys and southern Florida on Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts, mainly in squalls to the northeast of the center.  Little change in strength is expected through tonight. Slow
strengthening is expected Friday through Saturday, and Fred is forecast to regain tropical storm strength as it nears the Florida Keys and south Florida.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1012 mb (29.89 inches).

COASTAL WATCHES/WARNINGS AND FORECAST CONE FOR STORM CENTER

SUMMARY OF 0500 PM EDT…2100 UTC…INFORMATION

LOCATION…22.3N 79.6W
ABOUT 15 MI…25 KM SSW OF CAIBARIEN CUBA
ABOUT 210 MI…340 KM SE OF KEY WEST FLORIDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…35 MPH…55 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 280 DEGREES AT 12 MPH…19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1013 MB…29.92 INCHES

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* The Florida Keys west of Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas
* Florida Bay

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* The southwest coast of Florida from Englewood south and east to Ocean Reef

FORECAST DISCUSSION:

The following excerpt is from the Forecast Discussion issued at 1700 EDT today:

“Although there has been a general increase in convection associated with Fred since this morning, the system remains disorganized with the low-level center moving farther inland over central Cuba. Earlier ASCAT data detected an area of 25-27 kt winds over water to the northeast of the center, and based on that data, the initial intensity is held at 30 kt, which could be a little generous.

Since the previous advisory, Fred has been moving nearly due westward, but the longer-term motion is estimated to be 280/10 kt.  The cyclone is nearing the western periphery of a subtropical ridge that is centered over the western Atlantic. This should cause Fred
to turn west-northwestward tonight, and then northwestward on Saturday. The latest interpolated guidance that was initialized with the more southward and westward 18Z initial position shows a wider or more gradual northwestward turn, and therefore has shifted significantly westward, especially in the short term. However, the global models fields track the 850-mb vorticity center more along the northern coast of Cuba and some of those models suggest a center re-formation could occur on Saturday near the north coast of Cuba or over the Straits of Florida. As a result, the first 24-36 hours of the track forecast has been adjusted about a degree westward, but it is not as far west as the trackers, leaving open the possibility that a center re-formation could occur. After that time, the NHC forecast lies along the eastern side of the guidance envelope in best agreement with the 12Z GFS. Some additional westward adjustments may be necessary until the track guidance stabilizes. It is worth noting that it isn’t too surprising to see these type of models shifts with a system that remains quite disorganized.

Fred remains within an area of moderate southwesterly vertical wind shear, and the model guidance generally indicates that this shear will continue during the next day or so. Since it will also take time for the system to recover after its passage over Cuba, only gradual strengthening is indicated during the next day or two. After that time, the system could be in a somewhat more favorable environment, and the NHC intensity forecast calls for some
strengthening until Fred reaches the northern Gulf Coast, which now doesn’t occur until around 72 hours with the wider turn shown in the track forecast. The NHC intensity forecast lies between the various consensus aids, the statistical guidance, and the HWRF
model, which all generally show the system peaking in 60-72 hours.  The intensity forecast remains of lower-than-normal confidence due to Fred’s continued interaction with land.

Users are reminded to not focus on the exact forecast track as heavy rainfall, gusty winds, and a chance of tornadoes will extend far to northeast and east of the center, and those hazards are likely to still affect portions of the Florida peninsula, despite the recent shift in the forecast track.”

SITUATION AND ACTIONS:

A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for coastal Charlotte, coastal Lee, coastal Collier, and Monroe Counties, including the western part of the Florida Keys.  At the present time there is a Tropical Storm Watch for Coastal Charlotte County only.  There are no Tropical Storm Warnings for the ARRL West Central Florida Section.

Five ARES groups in the ARRL West Central Florida Section, have reported going to a Level 3 Activation, which is a Standby/Monitoring mode.  As a result, the ARRL West Central Florida Section Alert Level continues at Level 3.  Note:  The Section ARES Alert Level simply reflects the activation status of local ARES groups in the ARRL West Central Florida Section.  Each ARES groups activates at the request of their served agencies and or in accordance with their local ARES plan.

All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel are encouraged to continue to check each advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center in Miami and any advisories or Hurricane Local Statements issued by the National Weather Service Office in Ruskin.  All ARES, ACS, and CERT should stay in communications with their respective organizations in case of requested activation.   All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should rush to completion any equipment checks or supply shortages shortly, in case of an unlikely change in the forecast track.

LATEST NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER INFORMATION:

Public Advisories:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT1+shtml/112039.shtml
Forecast Advisory:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCMAT1+shtml/112039.shtml?
Forecast Discussion:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT1+shtml/112040.shtml

CONCLUSION

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN on Tropical Storm Fred will be issued tomorrow at around 1800 EDT, unless conditions warrant a bulletin sooner.

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-36

 FALL TARCFEST 2021 CANCELLED DUE TO COVID 19 CONCERNS

The following statement was released on Wednesday August 11th, 2021 by Larry Wissinger KM4LEW, Secretary of the Tampa Amateur Radio Club (TARC) concerning the upcoming TARCFest Fall 2021 scheduled for Saturday August 21st, 2021:

“Due to the increase of COVID cases in the Tampa Bay Area the TARC Board has made the decision to cancel TARCFest which was scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 21st.  We feel that the health and safety of our members and fellow Hams is more important than going ahead with this event.  Any help you can give us in getting the word out to the other clubs in the area would be appreciate.”

END OF  PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #21-12 – 1800 EDT – 8/12/21

TROPICAL DEPRESSION FRED – 1800 EDT – 8/12/21

Tropical Storm Fred weakened over night into a Tropical Depression due to land interaction when it crossed Hispanola.

At 500 PM EDT (2100 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Fred was  located near latitude 21.3 North, longitude 75.3 West. The depression is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Friday. A turn toward the northwest is expected Friday night or Saturday. On the forecast track, Fred is expected to move along or just north of eastern and central Cuba tonight and Friday, and be near the Florida Keys and southern Florida on Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts, mainly in squalls to the northeast of the center.  Little change in strength is expected through tonight. Slow
strengthening is expected Friday through Saturday, and Fred is forecast to regain tropical storm strength as it nears the Florida Keys and south Florida.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1012 mb (29.89 inches).

COASTAL WATCHES/WARNINGS AND FORECAST CONE FOR STORM CENTER

SUMMARY OF 0500 PM EDT…2100 UTC…INFORMATION

LOCATION…21.3N 75.3W
ABOUT 470 MI…760 KM ESE OF KEY WEST FLORIDA
ABOUT 165 MI…270 KM E OF CAMAGUEY CUBA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…35 MPH…55 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 295 DEGREES AT 12 MPH…19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1012 MB…29.89 INCHES

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* THE CUBAN PROVINCES OF CIEGO DE AVILA…CAMAGUEY…LAS TUNAS…HOLGUIN…AND GRANMA
* THE FLORIDA KEYS WEST OF OCEAN REEF TO THE DRY TORTUGAS
* THE SOUTHWEST COAST OF FLORIDA FROM BONITA BEACH SOUTH AND EAST TO
OCEAN REEF INCLUDING FLORIDA BAY

FORECAST DISCUSSION:

The following excerpt is from the Forecast Discussion issued at 1700 EDT today:

“Fred remains poorly organized at this time. While the low-level circulation looks more closed than it did earlier, the center is broad and may have multiple vortices rotating around it. Also, while convection has increased from earlier today, there is only minimal convection near the center and little evidence of banding.  The initial intensity remains 30 kt, with those winds likely occurring in squalls to the northeast of the center.

Fred has slowed its forward speed, with the initial motion now 295/10. There is little change to the track forecast philosophy from the previous advisory. The subtropical ridge to the northeast should steer Fred west-northwestward for the first 24-36 h, followed
by a turn toward the northwest as the cyclone approaches the western periphery of the ridge. By 96-120 h, a northward motion is expected as Fred moves into a weakness in the ridge. The track guidance has shifted westward since the previous advisory, most notably after about 24 h. Thus, that portion of the new forecast track has also been nudged a little westward, but it still lies to the east of the various consensus models.

Fred remains in an environment of about 20 kt of westerly vertical wind shear. The shear is expected to persist during the next day or so, and this combined with the current disorganization of the system should prevent significant strengthening during that time. After that, there remains disagreement between the global models on the evolution of the upper-level trough over Florida and the upper-level anticyclone southeast of Fred. Some shear is likely to continue, but there may be a period of more conducive conditions from 36-72 h.  The new intensity forecast is similar to the previous one in calling for slow strengthening through the first 36 h, with a little faster strengthening from 36-72 h. With that being said, the forecast 45-kt peak intensity is near the high end of the intensity guidance.”

SITUATION AND ACTIONS:

A Tropical Storm Watch was issued this afternoon for coastal Collier, coastal Monroe including the western part of the Florida Keys.    At the present time there are no watches or warnings for the ARRL West Central Florida Section.

Two ARES groups in the ARRL West Central Florida Section, have reported going to a Level 3 Activation, which is a Standby/Monitoring mode.  As a result, the ARRL West Central Florida Section Alert Level is now at Level 3.  Note:  The Section ARES Alert Level simply reflects the activation status of local ARES groups in the ARRL West Central Florida Section.  Each ARES groups activates at the request of their served agencies and or in accordance with their local ARES plan.

All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel are encouraged to continue to check each advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center in Miami and any advisories or Hurricane Local Statements issued by the National Weather Service Office in Ruskin.  All ARES, ACS, and CERT should stay in communications with their respective organizations in case of requested activation.   All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should perform any checks on equipment and or supplies in case of activation.

LATEST NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER INFORMATION:

Public Advisories:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT1+shtml/112039.shtml
Forecast Advisory:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCMAT1+shtml/112039.shtml?
Forecast Discussion:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT1+shtml/112040.shtml

CONCLUSION

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN on Tropical Storm Fred will be issued tomorrow at around 1800 EDT, unless conditions warrant a bulletin sooner.

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #21-11 – 1800 EDT – 8/11/21

TROPICAL STORM FRED – 1800 EDT – 8/11/21

Potential Tropical Cyclone Six, which had been designated a Potential Tropical Cyclone at 1700 EDT on Monday August 9th, was upgraded to Tropical Storm Fred at 2300 EDT on Tuesday August 10th. With portions of the State of Florida now within both the 5 day and 3 day cone, WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETINS will now commence on Tropical Storm Fred.

At 500 PM EDT (2100 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Fred was located near latitude 18.9 North, longitude 71.0 West. Fred is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h), and a general west-northwestward motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected to continue for the next two days or so. On the forecast track, the center of Fred is expected to be over Hispaniola for the next several hours, move near the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday, and move
near or north of the northern coast of central Cuba Thursday night and Friday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Fred is expected to weaken to a depression tonight as it crosses Hispaniola. Slow re-intensification is expected beginning Thursday night.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) mainly to the northeast of the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb (29.74 inches).

SUMMARY OF 0500 PM EDT…2100 UTC…INFORMATION

LOCATION…14.2N 59.2W
ABOUT 165 MI…260 KM ESE OF DOMINICA
ABOUT 205 MI…330 KM SE OF GUADELOUPE
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…35 MPH…55 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 15 MPH…24 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1010 MB…29.83 INCHES

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Martinique and Guadeloupe
* Dominica
* Puerto Rico, including Culebra and Vieques
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* Dominican Republic on the south coast from Punta Palenque eastward and the entire northern coast to the Dominican Republic/Haiti border.

DISCUSSION:

The following excerpt is from the Forecast Discussion issued at 1700 EDT today:

“During the past several hours, the center of Fred has moved inland over the Dominican Republic. The storm continues to produce an area of convection near and southeast of the center. However, the low-level circulation is losing some organization as it passes over mountainous terrain. There have been no observations near the center recently, so the initial intensity of 35 kt is based mainly on weakening from the previous over water intensity.

The initial motion is a somewhat uncertain 290/13. Some erratic motion is expected during the next 12 h or so as the center moves over the mountains of Hispaniola. After reaching the water, the cyclone is expected to moves west-northwestward on the south side of the subtropical ridge through about 60 h. After that, a northwestward motion is expected through the end of the forecast period as Fred moves toward a weakness in the ridge. The track guidance becomes a bit divergent during this time, with the ECMWF, Canadian, and HWRF models showing a track near or over the Florida Peninsula, while the GFS, UKMET, and HMON models show the center passing south and west of the Florida Keys, followed by a more northward motion over the Gulf of Mexico. The new forecast track is between these extremes, and it has only minor adjustments from the previous NHC track.

Fred is expected to weaken to a depression over Hispaniola during the next 12 h. Once back over water, the cyclone is expected to be in a moderate westerly shear environment through at least 60 h. Due to that, and the uncertainty in how well organized the system will be after crossing Hispaniola, the intensity forecast shows only modest intensification during this time. After that time, the global models forecast that an upper-level trough over Florida will gradually move to the north, with an large upper-level anticyclone following near or to the southeast of Fred. How close this anticyclone gets to Fred will determine how much the shear decreases while the system is over the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and the global models are not in great agreement on this. The GFS and Canadian keep the high far enough to the east to expose Fred to southwesterly upper-level winds, while the UKMET and ECMWF move it closer to the storm. The intensity forecast will show a slightly faster rate of strengthening after 72 h to match the guidance and the previous forecast. However, there is lower than normal confidence in this part of the intensity forecast.”

SITUATION AND ACTIONS:

At the present time, there are no watches or warnings in effects for the State of Florida and the ARRL West Central Florida Section.

Two ARES groups in the ARRL West Central Florida Section, have reported going to a Level 3 Activation, which is a Standby/Monitoring mode.  As a result, the ARRL West Central Florida Section Alert Level is now at Level 3.  Note:  The Section ARES Alert Level simply reflects the activation status of local ARES groups in the ARRL West Central Florida Section.  Each ARES groups activates at the request of their served agencies and or in accordance with their local ARES plan.

All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel are encouraged to continue to check each advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center in Miami and any advisories or Hurricane Local Statements issued by the National Weather Service Office in Ruskin.  All ARES, ACS, and CERT should stay in communications with their respective organizations in case of requested activation.   All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should perform any checks on equipment and or supplies in case of activation.

LATEST NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER INFORMATION:

Public Advisories:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT1+shtml/112039.shtml
Forecast Advisory:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCMAT1+shtml/112039.shtml?
Forecast Discussion:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT1+shtml/112040.shtml

CONCLUSION

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN on Tropical Storm Fred will be issued tomorrow at around 1800 EDT, unless conditions warrant a bulletin sooner.

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-35

NEW EMERGENCY COORDINATOR FOR CHARLOTTE COUNTY RECENTLY APPOINTED

On Tuesday April 27, 2021, Mike Douglas W4MDD, Section Manager of the ARRL West Central Florida Section, appointed Tom Chance K9XV, to be the new ARRL Emergency Coordinator for Charlotte County. Chance succeeds Jon Pellant W1JP, who had been ARRL Emergency Coordinator since December 2018.

Chance was first licensed as Novice class in 1972, at the age of twelve, after being introduced to amateur radio by his uncle Bob W9PSE when he was only eight years old.  Chance upgraded to General class in 1974, after passing a 13 word per minute Morse code exam, and received the callsign WB9KWS.  (To upgrade to General class before April 15, 2000, passing a 13 word per minute Morse code exam was required.)  Chance is a member of the Florida Contest Group, a past member of the Society of Midwest Contesters, and one of the founders of the Innovations in DX and Contesting which operates with the callsign W9VW.  Chance has extensive experience in emergency communications. In 2000, Chance became a member of SEMA (State of Indiana Emergency Management) which after September 11th, 2001 became the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS). Chance during this time supported IDHS with amateur radio communications via HF and various repeaters.

In 2015, Chance relocated from the Indianapolis, Indiana area to Charlotte County.  It was after relocating, that Chance began to research Winlink and “Winlink like” systems for use in emergency communications.  Chance has served in Charlotte County ARES for several years.

Chance in his professional career worked for Dell-EMC as a Software System Architect and Engineer developing new software and processes to analyze existing compute and storage systems to assist the solution architects in the field to design new solutions.  Chance graduated from Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis in 1982 with a degree in Electrical Engineering, specializing in analog and digital systems designs.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

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