Most Recent WCF Section Press Releases

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #19-34

BIKE MS CITRUS TOUR 2020 DATE ANNOUNCED AND VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED

The MS Society has announced that the date of the Bike MS Citrus Tour 2020 will be Saturday March 7, 2020 and Sunday March 8, 2020, which is two months before the tour was held this year and in previous years.  Mike Bresse W2YS, our Assistant Section Manager and amateur radio coordinator for the Bike MS Citrus Tour, has opened up the Citrus Tour website for new and returning volunteers for the Bike MS Citrus Tour 2020.  Amateur radio operators who wish to volunteer for the first time for this event should register at http://www.citrustour.org.  Volunteers returning from a previous Bike MS Citrus Tour do not need to register again but should login into the Citrus Tour website with their credentials and will be prompted to update their contact information.  If a returning volunteer needs assistance with their login credentials, please contact Mike Bresse W2YS via email at mbresse@slbsservicesgroup.com and Mike will be glad to assist you.

Bresse has been informed by the National MS Society that the route for the Bike MS Citrus Tour 2020 will be similar to this years route.  The ride on both days will start and end at the Omni Hotel at Champions Gate which is just off of I-4 just inside of Osceola County.  Approximately 98 percent of the route will be on the northeast, east and southeast side of Polk County, which is in the ARRL West Central Florida Section.  Darrell Davis KT4WX said the following about the Bike MS Citrus Tour, “The Bike MS Citrus Tour is basically an ’emergency without the emergency’.  The Bike MS Citrus Tour is a great opportunity for ARES, ACS, and CERT volunteers to practice their communications equipment, their operating skills, and to build camaraderie with other amateur radio volunteers.  When you have done the tour once you will want to do it again.  ARES personnel from ARES groups in all three ARRL Florida Sections participate in this event and work together as a team.”

More details about the Bike MS Citrus Tour 2020 will be coming out as they are made known.  The amateur radio communications has been sponsored by the ARRL West Central Florida Section since 2018.  This will be the third year that the ARRL West Central Florida Section has sponsored amateur radio communications for the Bike MS Citrus Tour.  For more information you may go to the Bike MS Citrus Tour web page on the Section website at http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-special-events/bike-ms-citrus-tour/.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #19-33

THE WCF PRESSER ISSUE #42 OCTOBER 2019 IS NOW PUBLISHED

The WCF PRESSER Issue #42 October 2019, has been published on the Section website.  An announcement of the publication of the WCF PRESSER will be disseminated on the ARRL remailer shortly. If anyone has any information that is amateur radio related that you would like to go into the next issue of THE WCF PRESSER, please send that to our newsletter editor, Jim Weslager K3WR via email at weslager@gmail.com.

For the PDF version of this newsletter and past issues in PDF format go to http://arrlwcf.org/home/the-wcf-section-presser-arrl-west-central-florida-section-news/.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #19-32

SECTION NET CANCELLATIONS FOR OCTOBER

The HF edition of the WCF Section ARES and Information Net that is scheduled for Saturday October 12th and Saturday October 19th at 0730 on 3940 KHz or immediately following the Florida Phone Traffic Net, will be cancelled due to Melbourne Hamfest on Saturday October 12th, which is also the ARRL Florida State Convention for 2019, and the WCF Section ARES Meeting on Saturday October 19th.  The HF edition of the WCF Section ARES and Information Net will resume its normal operation on Saturday October 26 at 0730 on 3940 KHz or immediately following the Florida Phone Traffic Net whichever is later

END OF PRESS RELEASE.

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #19-31

NEW EMERGENCY COORDINATOR FOR SARASOTA COUNTY ARES APPOINTED

Gary Wells WB9AYD was appointed as the ARRL Emergency Coordinator for the recently formed Sarasota County ARES.   Wells is active on SSB, CW, digital modes such as PSK31, FT8, Pactor, VARA and several other modes, and is also am involved with HF, VHF, and UHF Winlink both involving ham radio and SHARES.  Wells enjoys experimenting with his go box capabilities utilizing NVIS and AREDN and enjoys using his Flex Radio for DXing from home.  Wells was first licensed in 1969 as a novice as WN9AYD and then progressed to WB9AYD as an Extra Class ham.

Wells in his professional carreer was in the process control/industrial/factory automation world and has been retired for 11 years.  Wells and his wife moved to Sarasota from the Chicago/Milwaukee area in 2009 and now live in Sarasota County year around.  Wells said the following about his new role as ARRL Emergency Coordinator, “Ham radio is my passion and I look forward to working with other ARES members and hams going forward in my new role.”

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #15 – 0900 – 9/14/19

TROPICAL STORM HUMBERTO – WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #15 – 0900 – 9/14/19

At 800 AM EDT (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Humberto was located near latitude 26.6 North, longitude 76.6 West. Humberto is moving toward the northwest near 7 mph (11 km/h), and this motion is
expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the north-northwest is expected by Sunday and a slower northward to northeastward motion is forecast to occur by Monday. On the forecast track, the system will gradually move away from the northwestern Bahamas later today, and then will move well offshore of the east coast of Florida this weekend and early next week.  Maximum sustained winds remain near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast, and Humberto is expected to become a hurricane by Sunday night.  Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km)to the north and east of the center.  The estimated minimum central pressure just reported by an Air Force reconnaissance plane was 1004 mb (29.65 inches).

The only watches or warnings in effect for Tropical Storm Humberto is the following:  A Tropical Storm Warning for…Northwestern Bahamas excluding Andros Island.  There are no tropical storm watches or warnings for the continental United States at the present time.  The Tropical Storm Watch that had been issued for the Florida east coast counties was discontinued at 2300 EDT yesterday evening.

The following is an excerpt from the 0500 EDT Forecast Discussion issued by the National Hurricane Center, “During the next few days, a low- to mid-level ridge over the eastern United States and the western Atlantic is expected to slide southeastward, with a weakness in the ridge developing due to a mid- to upper-level trough over the northeastern U.S. This change in the steering pattern should cause the storm to slow down and turn northward off the east coast of Florida in 36 to 48 hours. Subsequently, the northeastern U.S. trough should dig southward, and this change should turn Humberto  northeastward and then eastward away from the U.S. The track guidance has shifted a little more to the east during the first 72 h, and the new NHC track has been nudged eastward as well during this time. The new forecast track lies near the various consensus models…Southwesterly vertical shear and dry air entrainment caused by the upper-level trough to the south is forecast to diminish during the next 2-3 days while Humberto moves near or over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. This should allow intensification, and Humberto is expected to become a hurricane in about 48 h.”

Since the issuance of the WCF SECTION SPECIAL Bulletin yesterday has significantly changed and for the State of Florida is a much improved outlook.  The following was included in the 1700 EDT Forecast Discussion that was issued yesterday afternoon, “An Air Force plane extensively investigated the disturbance near the Bahamas during the past several hours, and in the last portion of the mission, the crew was able to locate a center of circulation, although weak, near the convection. The center was a little bit to the east of the previous estimates…The track guidance has shifted to the east again, and this shift is larger due to the eastward formation of the center. Consequently, the NHC track forecast was adjusted in that direction, but it remains on the western edge of the guidance envelope.”  The National Hurricane Center discontinued the Tropical Storm Watch with the issuance of the 2300 EDT advisory yesterday evening.

At this time, all ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should continue to monitor the latest advisories issued by the National Hurricane Center on Tropical Storm Humberto.  There are several more areas of potential development that are active in the Atlantic basin that are being monitored for additional development as we are in the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.  Due to the significantly reduced threat to the ARRL West Central Florida Section and the State of Florida, the ARRL West Central Florida Section will not activate for Tropical Storm Humberto at this time.

This will be the last WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN issued for Tropical Storm Humberto, unless the track of Tropical Storm Humberto changes drastically.

END OF BULLETIN

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #14 – 09/13/19 – 1100


At 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the disturbance was centered near latitude 25.0 North, longitude 74.5 West or about 280 east-southeast of Freeport on Grand Bahama Island. The system is barely moving, but is expected to resume a slow motion toward the northwest and north-northwest later today. On the forecast track, the system is anticipated to move across the central and northwestern Bahamas today, and along or near the east coast of Florida Saturday and Saturday night.  Maximum sustained winds are near 30 mph (45 km/h) with higher gusts. The disturbance is forecast to become a tropical depression or a tropical storm later today or Saturday.  Environmental conditions are favorable for a tropical depression or a tropical storm later today or Saturday.  Formation chance through 48 hours…high…80 percent.  Formation chance through 5 days…high…90 percent.  The estimated minimum central pressure is 1009 mb (29.80 inches).  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Northwestern Bahamas excluding Andros Island.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Jupiter Inlet to Flagler-Volusia County line which includes: Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Brevard, and Flagler Counties on the Florida east coast.

The following from the Forecast Discussion issued at 1100 EDT for Potential Tropical Cyclone #9 explains the situation well, “The disturbance is embedded within a moderate shear environment, but
this parameter is not expected to be strong enough to halt development. The NHC forecast still calls for this system to become a tropical cyclone later today or Saturday. Global models develop the system and guidance suggests that the cyclone could even reach hurricane intensity by the end of the forecast period. By then, the system is expected to be over the Atlantic well southeast of the coast of the Carolinas. Due to a lack of a well-defined center, the initial motion is highly uncertain. It appears that there has been little motion during the past few hours. A weakness in the ridge over the western
Atlantic is forecast to develop and this pattern should steer the system slowly toward the northwest and then northward. In about 3 days, an eastward moving mid-latitude trough will force the system to recurve away from the coast toward the Atlantic. The guidance has shifted a little to east this morning and consequently the NHC track forecast was adjusted in that direction. However, the official forecast is still on the western edge of the guidance envelope. If the disturbance develops a little more to the east, the track forecast will probably adjusted to the right later today.

At the present time there are no watches or warnings in effect for the ARRL West Central Florida Section counties.  At the present time, ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES will remain at a no activation status until a greater threat from this system emerges and this will be re-evaluated with each advisory.  Please continue to monitor the latest advisories issued by the National Hurricane Center.

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN is scheduled for release following the 1100 EDT advisory tomorrow, unless conditions warrant a bulletin to be released sooner.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #19-30

STATEMENT CONCERNING VOLUNTEERING FOR HURRICANE DORIAN RELIEF IN THE BAHAMAS

There have been recently some inquiries about amateur radio operators volunteering for possible communications duty in the Bahamas following the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian.  The following statement from the ARRL West Central Florida Secton will hopefully address and clarify some of these questions:

“Any mutual aid that is to be mobilized through the ARES program, which is under the ARRL Field Organization, must be at the direction of ARRL Headquarters in Newington, CT.  Per ARRL policy, any mutual aid that is requested outside the Southeastern Division must be directed by ARRL Headquarters.  The Bahamas is a foreign county and therefore outside the Southeastern Division.  If there are any request for assistance either from or through the ARRL, the ARRL will notify the West Central Florida Section and the West Central Florida Section will issue a WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE concerning that request.  Individual amateur radio operators or informal groups of amateur radio operators may volunteer for another served agency on an individual basis if that served agency requests such assistance.  That arrangement must be made between the served agency and that individual amateur radio operator or a group of amateur radio operators.  As is normal, the ARRL recommends that amateur radio operators do not self deploy to a disaster but volunteer through a served agency.”

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #19-29

FLORIDA ARES EMERGENCY NET TO BE DISCONTINUED
ARRL WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION ARES DEMOBILIZING FOLLOWING HURRICANE DORIAN RESPONSE

Per request of the State EOC, the Florida ARES Emergency Net on 3950 KHz, that was scheduled to run from 0700 through 1900 daily is to be discontinued after 1900 EDT this evening.  The Florida ARES Emergency Net on the SARNET repeater system is being discontinued after 1900 EDT this evening.

Due to the discontinuance of the Florida ARES Emergency Net on 3950 KHz and on the SARNET repeater system, the response to Hurricane Dorian by ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES is concluded.  ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES will demobilize at 2000 this evening and return to a No Activation status.

According to Karl Martin K4HBN, the Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator, 41 amateur radio operators had filled out the Florida ARES Operator Application and were willing to be deployed for mutual aid if necessary, which never materialized.

The ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager Darrell Davis KT4WX said the following, “I am extending my sincere thanks to all of you who took time away from your familes, friends, and even jobs, to serve the public interest with your amateur radio skills. Without you, we could have not served our served agencies.  Again, thank you for your service.”

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #13 – 1300 – 9/04/19


At 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Dorian was located about 90 miles east-northeast of Daytona Beach.  Dorian is moving toward the north-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h) and this motion is expected to continue today. A turn toward the north is
expected tonight, followed by a turn toward the northeast on Thursday. On this track, the core of Hurricane Dorian will move parallel to the Florida east coast and the Georgia coast through tonight. The center of Dorian is forecast to move near or over the
coast of South Carolina and North Carolina Thursday through Friday.  Maximum sustained winds are near 105 mph (165 km/h) with higher gusts. A slow weakening is expected during the next few days.  However, Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane during this time. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km). NOAA buoy 41008, located off the Georgia coast, recently reported sustained winds of 40 mph (65 km/h) and a wind gust of 47 mph (76 km/h).  The minimum central pressure just reported by an Air Force Reserve
Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 964 mb (28.47 inches).

The following is from the 1100 EDT Forecast Discussion by the National Hurricane Center, “The track guidance is very tightly clustered, and the new forecast track, which has only minor changes from the previous forecast, lies in the center of the guidance envelope near the consensus models. It should be noted that the track is close to and almost parallel to the coast of the southeastern United State, and
any deviation to the left of the track could bring the center onshore anywhere in the Carolinas.  Dorian is expected to remain in an environment of light to moderate vertical wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures during the next 48 h. As a result, the hurricane is expected to maintain Category 2 intensity as it passes near the southeastern United States coast. After 48 h, increasing shear and dry air entrainment should cause a weakening trend. Extratropical transition should begin near the 72 h time, and the cyclone is forecast to become a hurricane-force extratropical low by 96 h near or over Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.  Since the NHC track prediction continues to take Dorian dangerously close to the southeast U.S. coast, all interests from northeast Florida to the Carolinas should remain vigilant to the possibility of experiencing destructive winds, flooding rains, and life-threatening storm surges from this hurricane.”

A Storm Surge Warning remains in effect for coastal Brevard, Volusia, Flager, Duval, and Nassau Counties.  All other Storm Surge watches for the State of Florida are discontinued.  All Hurricane Warnings for the State of Florida have been discontinued.  A Hurricane Watch remains in effect for only the northern portion of St. John’s, Duval, and Nassau Counties, and extends up to the Savannah River in Georgia.  A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for Volusia, Flager, St. John’s, Duval, and Nassau County to the Savannah River in Georgia.  All other watches and warnings that are hurricane related have discontinued for the ARRL West Central Florida Section including the Tropical Storm Watch from Polk and Highlands County that were discontinued yesterday evening.

ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES will remain at a Level 3 Activation, which is a stand by mode.  Amateur radio operators in the West Central Florida Section are continuing to provide net control and relay service for the Florida ARES Emergency Net on 3950 KHz or 7242 KHz as an alternate due to propagation.  All ARES units have demobilized and returned to a No Activation status.  The ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES will remain at a Level 3 Activation until the Florida ARES Emergency Net on 3950 KHz and the SARNET is discontinued by the State EOC.  The three ARRL Florida Sections are holding another conference call today to assess the situation and another conference call is scheduled for tomorrow to do a “hot wash” and any further coordination that is needed.

This will be the last WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN for Hurricane Dorian.  The ARRL West Central Florida Section thanks all ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel and groups for your service over the last nine days.  The ARRL West Central Florida Section also thanks the amateur radio operators who are providing net control and relay service to the Florida ARES Emergency Net.  The ARRL West Central Florida Section also thanks all of those who filled out Florida ARES Operator Applications in case operators were needed for mutual aid.  Continue to keep watch on the tropics as there are several active areas out there and hurricane season is not over until 11/30/19.

END OF BULLETIN

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #12 – 2000 – 9/03/19

STATE OF FLORIDA ARES EMERGENCY NET SCHEDULE UPDATE – 2000 – 9/03/19

Per direction from the State of Florida Emergency Operations Center, the Florida ARES Emergency Net on HF, which runs on 3950 KHz primarily or on 7242 KHz if propagation is poor on 75 Meters, will not run 24 hours effective at 1900 EDT this evening.  The new hours of the HF edition of the Florida ARES Emergency Net will be from 0700 EDT until 1900 EDT hours daily until the State EOC discontinues the call for the net. The Florida ARES Emergency Net that is running on SARNET is continuing to operate as scheduled.

All the net control stations and relay stations that are scheduled from the West Central Florida Section in the time slots from 0800 EDT through 2000 EDT, please report for your time slot tomorrow as scheduled.  The timeslots between 2000 and 0800 are excused and thank you very much for your willingness to serve.  If possible, any of the net controls and or relay that had volunteered to serve are most welcome to assist as either relief for the scheduled net controls or as additional relays.

The ARRL West Central Florida Section again extends its sincere thanks to who have volunteered to serve as net controls and relay stations.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

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