WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-31

TAMIAMI AMATEUR RADIO CLUB TO HOST A FOXHUNT IN OCTOBER

The Tamiami Amateur Radio Club in Venice recently announced its FIRST ANNUAL CLASSIC FOX HUNT event to be held at the T. Mabry Carlton Reserve in Venice on Saturday, October 23, 2021. Event details and pre-registration form (required) for the event can be found at our website:  https://tamiamiarc.org/annual-fox-hunt/.

Members of the Tamiami Amateur Radio Club have been experimenting with Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) for over a year now.  It began as a “lets give it a try” activity by a few club members, has turned into a much anticipated and fun outdoor activity for many club members to engage in. ARDF is a simple and inexpensive part of our ham radio hobby that looks easy, but can be very challenging in the execution. In the last two decades, ARDF has become a more and more popular part of the amateur radio hobby in the US.  The Tamiami Amateur Radio Club wants to introduce ARDF to other hams in the ARRL West Central Florida Section.

Registration is $25 and event logo embroidered hats will be given to all participants. Hunters MUST be pre-registered for the event by October 10, 2021. No on site registrations will be allowed on the day of the event.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #21-09 – 0800 EDT – 7/07/21

TROPICAL STORM ELSA – 0800 EDT – 7/07/21

Tropical Elsa Elsa obtained hurricane status late yesterday evening and earlier this morning, slightly weakened to a high end Tropical Storm.

At 800 AM EDT (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Elsa was located by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft and NWS Doppler radars near latitude 29.2 North, longitude 83.6 West. Elsa is moving toward the north near 14 mph (22 km/h), and a general northward motion is expected to continue through this afternoon. A turn toward the north-northeast is expected late this afternoon or tonight, followed by a faster northeastward motion by late Thursday. On the forecast track, Elsa will make landfall along the north Florida Gulf coast by late this morning or this afternoon. The storm should then move across the southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States through Thursday.

The primary impact to the coastal counties ARRL West Central Florida Section will be from storm surge, tropical storm force winds but soon begin to diminish today.  The primary impact to the inland counties of the ARRL West Central Florida Section will flooding due to excessive rain especially near rivers.

SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT…1200 UTC…INFORMATION

———————————————-
LOCATION…29.2N 83.6W
ABOUT 35 MI…55 KM W OF CEDAR KEY FLORIDA
ABOUT 115 MI…185 KM NW OF TAMPA FLORIDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…65 MPH…100 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 360 DEGREES AT 14 MPH…22 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…999 MB…29.50 INCHES

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* West coast of Florida from the Middle of Longboat Key to the Aucilla River, including Tampa Bay

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* West coast of Florida from Chassahowitzka to the Steinhatchee River

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* West coast of Florida from south of Chassahowitzka to the Middle of Longboat Key
* West coast of Florida north of the Steinhatchee River to Ochlockonee River
* Mouth of St. Marys River, Georgia to Little River Inlet, South Carolina

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* West of the Aucilla River to the Ochlockonee River, Florida

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* North of Little River Inlet, South Carolina to Chincoteague, Virginia
* Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds

DISCUSSION:

The following excerpt is from the Forecast Discussion issued at 0800 EDT today:

“The central convection associated with Elsa dissipated for a time earlier this morning, although the latest radar and satellite imagery shows a new band forming in the northern semicircle. This decrease was likely caused by a combination of shear and dry air
entrainment, and it has caused the cyclone to weaken. Aircraft and surface observations indicate the central pressure has risen to near 1004 mb, and the initial intensity is decreased to a possibly generous 55 kt based on aircraft and Doppler radar data.

After a slight jog to the left, the storm has resumed a motion of 360/12. This motion should continue for the next 12 h or so until landfall occurs across the northwestern Florida peninsula.  Thereafter, a gradual turn toward the north-northeast is expected
by, followed by acceleration toward the northeast as Elsa moves into the mid-latitude westerlies. The forecast guidance has shifted a little to the left since the last advisory, and the new forecast track is also nudged in that direction. The new track lies a little to the right of the various consensus models.

While little change in strength is forecast before landfall, there is a chance that the new convection could cause a short-lived re-intensification. So, based on this possibility a hurricane warning remains in effect for portions of the west coast of Florida. After landfall, Elsa should weaken as it crosses the southeastern United States, followed by some re-intensification as it accelerates back over the Atlantic. The system is expected to
become extratropical by the time it reaches the Canadian Maritimes in 72 h. The new intensity forecast is at the upper edge of the guidance envelope and has only minor adjustments from the previous forecast.”

SITUATION AND ACTIONS:

In the ARRL West Central Florida Section, all Hurricane Warnings have been discontinued.  A Tropical Storm Warning and Storm Surge Warning are in effect for Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties.  The Tropical Storm Warning for Charlotte County has been discontinued.  A Flood Warning is in effect Hardee, Desoto, Manatee, eastern Sarasota, and eastern Charlotte Counties until 1500 EDT today due to excessive rainfall.  Flood Warnings are in effect for several rives in Hillsborough, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties until Friday evening. A Flood Watch is in effect for all counties in the ARRL West Central Florida Section until 1400 EDT today.

As of press time, two ARES Groups are still partially activated:

  • Pinellas County ARES/ACS has been requested to staff the Emergency Operations Center and two Community Wellness Centers with auxiliary communications beginning yesterday morning at 0900.
  • Hillsborough County ARES/RACES has been requested to staff the Hillsborough County Public Safety Operations Complex and a shelter at Riverview High School at approximately 0900 yesterday morning.

As a result ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES remain at a Level 2 activation, which is a partial activation, due to the activation of ARES groups in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.  Note: Section ARES Activations Levels are simply alert messages, as each ARES group is responsible for his own level of activation.

Other ARES groups in other counties are on standby in case they are requested to activate  All of the ARES groups in the ARRL West Central Florida Section have been taking preparedness actions with their equipment and supplies, and monitoring the situation carefully, just in case they are requested to active by their various served agencies.

All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should monitor their email and phones for any requests for assistance from their served agencies through their respective chains of command.  Please do not self-activate as requests for assistance and or mutual assistance must follow through the proper procedure.  Everyone is highly 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/MIATCPAT4+shtml/052330.shtml?
Forecast Advisory:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCMAT4+shtml/052053.shtml?
Forecast Discussion:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT4+shtml/052054.shtml?

LATEST NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE INFORMATION.

Hurricane Local Statement – NWS Ruskin:  https://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=tbw&wwa=hurricane%20local%20statement
Flood Warnings issued: https://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=tbw&wwa=flood%20warning

 

CONCLUSION

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN will be issued around 1800 EST this evening, following the 1700 EDT advisory on Tropical Storm Elsa, unless conditions warrant a sooner release.

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #21-08 – 2020 EDT – 7/06/21

TUESDAY 7/06/21 EDITION OF THE EAGLE NET CURTAILED AND 7/06/21 SKYWARN INFORMATION NET ARE CANCELLED.

Dave Rockwell W4PXE, Net Manager of the Eagle Net announced at 2015 EDT on the NI4CE Repeater System, that the Eagle Net scheduled for this evening, Tuesday 7/06/21 would meet only briefly to take any emergency or priority traffic that was related to just recently upgraded Hurricane Elsa and all other routine traffic and regular checkins would be suspended for this evening.

It was also announced by Paul Toth NB9X on the NI4CE Repeater System that the Skywarn and Information Net scheduled for 2100 EDT had also been cancelled due to recently upgraded Hurricane Elsa being off the west coast of Florida.

Both nets will return to normal operation at their next scheduled times of operation..

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #21-07 – 1800 EDT – 7/06/21

TROPICAL STORM ELSA – 1800 EDT – 7/06/21

As of 1700 EDT the center of Elsa was about due west of Naples in Collier Count or about 155 south-southwest of Tampa.  The forecast path has had no significant changes since the last bulletin this morning. Elsa is now moving north between low pressure in the northeast Gulf of Mexico and the periphery of the upper level subtropical ridge that is over the western Atlantic off the east coast of Florida.  Please note as Elsa moves north, it will draw closer to the Florida west coast (because the coastline runs slightly north to northwest) but is not predicted make landfall until tomorrow morning in the big bend area in the proximity of Levy or Dixie Counties.   The primary impact to the coastal counties ARRL West Central Florida Section will be from storm surge, tropical storm force winds, perhaps some low end hurricane force winds in Pinellas county.   The primary impact to the inland counties of the ARRL West Central Florida Section will be possible tornadoes and flooding due to excessive rain especially near rivers.

SUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT…2100 UTC…INFORMATION

———————————————-
LOCATION…25.8N 83.0W
ABOUT 155 MI…250 KM SSW OF TAMPA FLORIDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…70 MPH…110 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 350 DEGREES AT 10 MPH…17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…998 MB…29.47 INCHES

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* West coast of Florida from Bonita Beach to the Aucilla River, including Tampa Bay

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Egmont Key to the Steinhatchee River, Florida

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* The Florida Keys from the Seven Mile Bridge westward to the DryTortugas
* West coast of Florida from Flamingo to south of Egmont Key
* West coast of Florida north of Steinhatchee River to Ochlockonee River
* Coast of Georgia from the Mouth of the St. Marys River to Altamaha Sound

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* West of the Aucilla River to the Ochlockonee River, Florida

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* North of Altamaha Sound, Georgia, to South Santee River, South Carolina

DISCUSSION:

The following excerpt is from the Forecast Discussion issued at 0500 EST today:

“Elsa’s overall cloud pattern has changed little in organization since earlier today. There continues to be minimal shower and thunderstorm activity over the western semicircle of the circulation, with some bursting of deep convection near and east of the estimated center. A slightly-elevated observing site on Sand Key, near Key West Florida, recently reported a peak 1-minute wind of 49 kt with a gust to 56 kt. This supports the current intensity estimate of 50 kt. Recent WSR-88D Doppler velocities from the Key West radar suggest that the storm could be a little stronger than that. The Air Force Hurricane Hunter mission into the storm has been delayed due to bad weather at the Keesler base, but is
rescheduled to investigate Elsa in a few hours. This flight should provide updated information on the intensity of the system.

Recently, the storm has been moving a little slower toward the north-northwest and the initial motion is about 340/9 kt. Elsa should move generally northward today and tonight between the western periphery of a subtropical ridge and an area of low pressure over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. A gradual turn toward the north-northeast should occur on Wednesday as the system moves along the northwestern periphery of the ridge.  Thereafter, the cyclone is expected to accelerate northeastward ahead of a trough over the eastern United States and eastern Canada.  This will take the system across the southeastern United States within the next couple of days, near the coast of New England in about 3 days and near or over Atlantic Canada in 4 days or so. The official forecast is nearly the same as the previous one and, again, very close to the model consensus.

The environment over the eastern Gulf of Mexico is not ideal for strengthening, with moderate westerly shear and some dry mid-level air. However, upper-level divergence ahead of a trough over the east-central Gulf could result in some intensification of the
system during the next 12-24 hours. The official forecast continues to show the cyclone nearing hurricane strength while it approaches the north Florida Gulf coast, but this is at the high end of the numerical intensity guidance.”

SITUATION AND ACTIONS:

In the ARRL West Central Florida Section, A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Pinellas County.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte County.  A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte County.   A Tornado watch went into effect at 1345 EDT this afternoon and expires at 2300 EDT for all of counties of the ARRL West Central Florida Section.  A Flood Warning is in effect for portions of the Little Manatee River and Manatee River in Manatee County.  A Flood Watch is in effect for all counties in the ARRL West Central Florida Section until 1400 EDT tomorrow.

As of press time, two ARES Groups have been partially activated:

  • Pinellas County ARES/ACS has been requested to staff the Emergency Operations Center and two Community Wellness Centers with auxiliary communications beginning tomorrow morning at 0900.
  • Hillsborough County ARES/RACES has been requested to staff the Hillsborough County Public Safety Operations Complex and a shelter at Riverview High School at approximately 0900.

As a result ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES remain at a Level 2 activation, which is a partial activation, due to the activation of ARES groups in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.  Note: Section ARES Activations Levels are simply alert messages, as each ARES group is responsible for his own level of activation.

Other ARES groups in other counties are on standby in case they are requested to activate  All of the ARES groups in the ARRL West Central Florida Section have been taking preparedness actions with their equipment and supplies, and monitoring the situation carefully, just in case they are requested to active by their various served agencies.

All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should monitor their email and phones for any requests for assistance from their served agencies through their respective chains of command.  All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should perform any last minute checks on equipment and or supplies in case of activation.  Please do not self-activate as requests for assistance and or mutual assistance must follow through the proper procedure.  Any personal preparedness activities should be complete at this point.  Everyone is highly 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/MIATCPAT4+shtml/052330.shtml?
Forecast Advisory:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCMAT4+shtml/052053.shtml?
Forecast Discussion:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT4+shtml/052054.shtml?
Hurricane Local Statement – NWS Ruskin:  https://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=tbw&wwa=hurricane%20local%20statement

CONCLUSION

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN will be issued around 0800 EST tomorrow this evening, following the 0500 EDT advisory on Tropical Storm Elsa, unless conditions warrant a sooner release.

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-30

8th ANNUAL TECHCON DATE AND VENUE SET

The date and venue for the 8th Annual TECHCON have been set.  The date for the 8th Annual TECHCON, the Annual Technical Conference for the ARRL West Central Florida Section, is Friday February 25, 2022 and Saturday February 26, 2022.  The venue for the 8th Annual TECHCON will be the Polk County Emergency Operations Center, located between Winter Haven and Lakeland in Polk County.  The 7th Annual TECHCON, held in February of this year, had been scheduled to take place at the Polk County Emergency Operations Center, but became a virtual event only via Zoom due to concerns from COVID-19.

The 8th Annual TECHCON will be a face to face conference as it has been in years past but also will be available for viewing via Zoom teleconferencing.  The 8th Annual TECHCON will see a resumption of the Friday Afternoon Workshop and Friday Evening Social.  The presentations for TECHCON will be recorded and available for viewing on the Section’s YouTube channel immediately after the conclusion of TECHCON wihch is located at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFA4-HEjr-lYMFisVG_Nk5A.

Registration for the 8th Annual TECHCON is now open.  You may register to either atttend or make a presentation for TECHCON at http://arrlwcf.org/section-forms/wcftechconfregistration/.  For more information about TECHCON you may go to the TECHCON webpage on the Section website at http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-special-events/wcftechconference/

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #21-06 – 0700 EDT – 7/06/21

TROPICAL STORM ELSA – 0700 EDT – 7/06/21

Elsa moved out into the Florida Straits around 2200 EDT yesterday evening.   As of 0500 EDT the center of Elsa was about 50 miles southwest of Key West.  The forecast path has had no significant changes since the last bulletin yesterday evening. Elsa is now moving NNW around the periphery of the upper level subtropical ridge that is over the western Atlantic off the east coast of Florida.  The primary impact to the ARRL West Central Florida Section will be in the coastal counties, particularly in the northern coastal counties from storm surge, tropical storm force winds, and flooding near rivers.  However the inland counties still have a possible impact from flooding due to excessive rainfall particularly near rivers.

SUMMARY OF 500 AM EDT…0900 UTC…INFORMATION

———————————————-
LOCATION…24.1N 82.4W
ABOUT 50 MI…80 KM SW OF KEY WEST FLORIDA
ABOUT 270 MI…435 KM S OF TAMPA FLORIDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…60 MPH…95 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NNW OR 340 DEGREES AT 12 MPH…19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1007 MB…29.74 INCHES

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* West coast of Florida from Bonita Beach to the Aucilla
River, including Tampa Bay

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* The Cuban provinces of Matanzas, Mayabeque, Havana, and Artemisa
* The Florida Keys from Craig Key westward to the Dry Tortugas
* West coast of Florida from Flamingo northward to Ochlockonee River

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Egmont Key to the Steinhatchee River, Florida

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* West of the Aucilla River to the Ochlockonee River, Florida

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* West of the Ochlockonee River to Indian Pass, Florida
* Mouth of St. Marys River to South Santee River, South Carolina

DISCUSSION:

The following excerpt is from the Forecast Discussion issued at 0500 EST today:

“Elsa is now located over the Florida Straits, with tropical-storm-force wind gusts occurring across the Lower and Middle Keys. Doppler radar data and satellite images indicate that the core of Elsa is fairly small and has maximum winds of around 50 kt. The outer rainbands associated with Elsa are spreading northward across southern Florida, and a cluster of deep convection has been lingering over portions of central and western Cuba. The Air Force Hurricane Hunters will be investigating Elsa later this morning, and the data the plane collects will be valuable in assessing the storm’s intensity and structure.

Elsa is moving to the north-northwest at about 10 kt on the western periphery of a subtropical ridge that is located over the central Atlantic. The storm should turn northward later today as it moves in the flow between the ridge and a mid- to upper-level low over the south-central U.S. This motion should take the core of Elsa parallel to and likely just offshore of the west coast of Florida through tonight. After that time, a slight turn to the north-northeast is forecast as another trough moves across the north-central U.S. This slight change in heading should bring Elsa inland across the Big Bend region of Florida by early Wednesday and then across coastal Georgia and the Carolinas Wednesday night through early Friday. Thereafter, the storm is expected to accelerate and move northeastward off the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts. The NHC track forecast is basically unchanged from the previous one and lies close to the model consensus aid TVCA.

Now that Elsa is gradually pulling away from Cuba, it will have an opportunity to strengthen. However, the environmental conditions are only marginal for the storm to do so. Dry air on the western side of the cyclone and some westerly shear should prevent rapid intensification, but the small cyclone will likely strengthen slowly before it moves inland over the Big Bend of Florida. The GFS model shows Elsa deepening by 5-10 mb before landfall, and the ECMWF shows even greater pressure falls. Based on these models, the intensity forecast is nudged upward and now shows Elsa just below hurricane force before landfall in Florida. After Elsa moves inland, steady weakening is forecast, but the system is expected to restrengthen over the western Atlantic as it transitions into an extratropical cyclone.

Based on this new forecast, a Hurricane Watch has been issued for a portion of the west-central and Big Bend Florida coast. In addition, it should be noted that much of the west coast of the Florida Peninsula is expected to see wind, rain, and surge impacts since that region will be on Elsa’s east side. A Tropical Storm Watch has also been issued for the Georgia coast and portions of the South Carolina coast.”

SITUATION AND ACTIONS:

In the ARRL West Central Florida Section, A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Pinellas and Coastal Pasco County.  A Tropical Storm Warning and a Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Coastal Charlotte County.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Inland Charlotte County.  A Flood Warning is in effect for portions of the Little Manatee River and Manatee River in Manatee County.  A Flood Watch is in effect for all counties in the ARRL West Central Florida Section.

As of press time, two ARES Groups have been requested to partially activate:

  • Pinellas County ARES/ACS has been requested to staff the Emergency Operations Center and two Community Wellness Centers with auxiliary communications beginning tomorrow morning at 0900.
  • Hillsborough County ARES/RACES has been requested to staff the Hillsborough County Public Safety Operations Complex and a shelter at Riverview High School at approximately 0900.

As a result ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES will go to Level 2 activation, which is a partial activation, due to the activation of ARES groups in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.

Other ARES groups in other counties are on standby in case they are requested to activate  All of the ARES groups in the ARRL West Central Florida Section have been taking preparedness actions with their equipment and supplies, and monitoring the situation carefully, just in case they are requested to active by their various served agencies.

All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should monitor their email and phones for any requests for assistance from their served agencies through their respective chains of command.  All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should perform any last minute checks on equipment and or supplies in case of activation.  Please do not self-activate as requests for assistance and or mutual assistance must follow through the proper procedure.  Any personal preparedness activities should be complete at this point.  Everyone is highly 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/MIATCPAT4+shtml/052330.shtml?
Forecast Advisory:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCMAT4+shtml/052053.shtml?
Forecast Discussion:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT4+shtml/052054.shtml?
Hurricane Local Statement – NWS Ruskin:  https://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=tbw&wwa=hurricane%20local%20statement

CONCLUSION

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN will be issued around 1800 EST tomorrow this evening, following the 1700 EDT advisory on Tropical Storm Elsa, unless conditions warrant a sooner release.

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #21-05 – 1800 EDT – 7/05/21

TROPICAL STORM ELSA – 1800 EDT – 7/05/21

Elsa made landfall at 1400 EDT on  southern coastline of Cuba and is expected to cross Cuba into the Florida Straits, in the Gulf of Mexico, this evening.  The forecast path has had no significant changes since the last bulletin yesterday evening. Elsa is now moving NW around the periphery of the upper level subtropical ridge that is over the western Atlantic off the east coast of Florida.  Elsa is due to enter the Florida Straits this evening and go generally in a northerly direction, somewhat paralleling the west coast of Florida as it proceeds.   Impacts to the ARRL West Central Florida Section now seem most likely in the coastal counties, due to Elsa moving somewhat parallel to the Florida west coast as it moves in a generally northerly direction towards making a second landfall in the big bend area.

SUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT…2100 UTC…INFORMATION

———————————————-
LOCATION…22.7N 81.9W
ABOUT 45 MI…75 KM SE OF HAVANA CUBA
ABOUT 130 MI…210 KM S OF KEY WEST FLORIDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…50 MPH…85 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 14 MPH…22 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1008 MB…29.77 INCHES

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* West coast of Florida from Bonita Beach to the Aucilla River including Tampa Bay

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* The Cuban provinces of Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Villa Clara, Mayabeque, Havana, and Artemisa
* The Florida Keys from Craig Key westward to the Dry Tortugas
* West coast of Florida from Flamingo northward to Ochlockonee River

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* West of the Aucilla River to the Ochlockonee River

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* West of the Ochlockonee River to Indian Pass, Florida

DISCUSSION:

The following excerpt is from the Forecast Discussion issued at 1700 EST today, “Satellite and radar imagery along with surface synoptic observations indicate that the tropical cyclone moved inland over west-central Cuba around 1800 UTC, accompanied by very heavy rains. Assuming that some weakening has occurred due to the influence of
land, the advisory intensity is set to 45 kt. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate Elsa this evening after the center moves into the Florida Straits and will provide a better assessment of the system’s intensity.

The storm appears to be continuing on its northwestward track and the initial motion estimate is 315/12 kt. There are no changes to the track forecast reasoning from the previous advisory. Elsa should move between the western portion of a mid-level subtropical ridge extending westward from the Atlantic and a broad low pressure area near the northwestern Gulf of Mexico coast for the next couple of days. Later in the forecast period, the system is likely to accelerate northeastward and move from the eastern United States to near Atlantic Canada. The NHC track forecast over the eastern Gulf of Mexico is practically identical to the one from the previous advisory, and a little to the left of the previous one over the eastern United States and the Atlantic. This is in good agreement with the now tightly-clustered track model guidance.

Some restrengthening of the cyclone is likely after it moves into the Gulf of Mexico, but vertical shear associated with a broad upper-level trough over the Gulf is likely to limit intensification. The official intensity forecast is slightly above the latest model consensus, IVCN. Around 96 hours, the global models suggest that the cyclone will merge with a frontal zone, so the forecast shows extratropical transition at that time.”

SITUATION AND ACTIONS:

At the present time, A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Florida west coast from Flamingo northward to Ochlockonee River.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for west of the Ochlockonee River to Indian Pass, Florida in the Florida panhandle.  A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for the west coast of Florida from Bonita Beach to the Aucilla River including Tampa Bay. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect west of the Aucilla River to the Ochlockonee River in the Florida panhandle.

In the ARRL West Central Florida Section, A Tropical Storm Warning and a Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Coastal Charlotte County.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Inland Charlotte County.

As of press time, Pinellas County ARES/ACS has been request to staff the Emergency Operations Center and two Community Wellness Centers with auxiliary communications beginning tomorrow morning at 0900.  The Pinellas County EOC is going to a Level 2 activation tomorrow morning at 0900.  Other ARES groups in other counties are either on standby whether formally or informally.  All of the ARES groups in the ARRL West Central Florida Section have been taking preparedness actions with their equipment and supplies, and monitoring the situation carefully, just in case they are requested to active by their various served agencies.

All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should monitor their email and phones for any requests for assistance from their served agencies through their respective chains of command.  All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should perform any last minute checks on equipment and or supplies in case of activation.  Please do not self-activate as requests for assistance and or mutual assistance must follow through the proper procedure.  Any personal preparedness activities should be complete at this point.  Everyone is highly 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/MIATCPAT4+shtml/052330.shtml?
Forecast Advisory:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCMAT4+shtml/052053.shtml?
Forecast Discussion:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT4+shtml/052054.shtml?

CONCLUSION

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN will be issued around 1800 EST tomorrow evening, following the 1700 EDT advisory on Tropical Storm Elsa, unless conditions warrant a sooner release.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-29

SUMMER 2021 SECTION ARES MEETING TO BE HELD IN PERSON AT POLK COUNTY EOC

The Summer 2021 ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES Meeting, set for Saturday July 17th, 2021 at 1300, will be held as a face to face meeting at the Polk County Emergency Operations Center.  This will be the first in-person Section ARES Meeting since January 2020.  Face to face meetings were suspended with the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020, the subsequent quarantine, and unavailability of facilities in which to have a meeting.  Section ARES Meetings have been held via Zoom teleconferencing since that time.

With the face to face Section ARES Meeting, the ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES Luncheon will take place as well, for those comfortable in attending.  The Summer 2021 ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES Luncheon will be held on Saturday July 17th, 2021 at 1100 at Sonny’s BBQ located at 4600 Recker Hwy, Winter Haven, FL 33880.

The Polk County EOC is located at 1890 Jim Keene Blvd, Winter Haven, FL 33880.  Jim Keene Blvd is on the north side of SR540 between Winter Haven and Lakeland.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

 

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #21-04 – 1800 EDT – 7/04/21

TROPICAL STORM ELSA – 1800 EDT – 7/04/21

Elsa is now nearing the southern coastline of Cuba and is expected to skirt along the Cuban coastline before making landfall and crossing Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico.  The forecast path has had no significant changes since the last bulletin yesterday evening. Elsa is now moving NW around the periphery of the upper level subtropical ridge that is over the western Atlantic off the east coast of Florida, and then enter the Gulf of Mexico and go north in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and making a second landfall on the Florida west coast, most likely just north of the Tampa Bay Area.  According to the Forecast Discussion issued by the National Weather Service Office in Ruskin this afternoon, “There is risk of tropical storm conditions, storm surge, and rainfall impacts along the west coast of Florida beginning as early as Monday night and lasting through Wednesday.”.  Impacts to the ARRL West Central Florida Section now seem more likely in the coastal counties, but the possible storm path still covers all of the ARRL West Central Florida Section.

SUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT…2100 UTC…INFORMATION

———————————————-
LOCATION…19.8N 77.9W
ABOUT 15 MI…20 KM W OF CABO CRUZ CUBA
ABOUT 110 MI…180 KM S OF CAMAGUEY CUBA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…60 MPH…95 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 14 MPH…22 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1009 MB…29.80 INCHES
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* The Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, Santiago de Cuba, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Mayabeque, and Havana
* Jamaica
* The Florida Keys from Craig Key westward to the Dry Tortugas

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* The Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, and Santiago de Cuba

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* West coast of Florida from Bonita Beach to the Suwannee River

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Cayman Brac and Little Cayman
* The Cuban province of Artemisa
* The Florida Keys from east of Craig Key to Ocean Reef
* Florida Bay
* West coast of Florida from Flamingo northward to the Anclote River

DISCUSSION:

The following excerpt is from the Forecast Discussion issued at 1700 EST today, “Elsa continues to exhibit some well-defined convective banding features over the northern and eastern portions of the circulation. Dvorak current intensity estimates from TAFB and SAB are 45 and 55 kt respectively,so the advisory intensity remains at 50 kt. Although the cirrus-level outflow over the area looks fairly impressive, the SHIPS output diagnoses about 20 kt of vertical shear over the cyclone, which may be inhibiting strengthening. Another negative factor could be blockage of the low-level inflow by the land masses surrounding the cyclone.

The storm has turned toward the northwest, and the initial motion estimate is now 310/12 kt. There is little change to the track forecast reasoning from the previous advisory package. Elsa should move around the western periphery of a mid-level subtropical high pressure area during the next 3 days or so. Thereafter, the system should accelerate northward to northeastward over the eastern United States and the northwest Atlantic. No significant changes have been made to the NHC track forecast, which remains close to the simple and correct model consensus solutions.

Some strengthening could occur as the storm approaches the south coast of Cuba and although not explicitly shown in the official forecast, Elsa could strengthen to near 60 kt before landfall in that country. Over the eastern Gulf of Mexico, southwesterly shear is expected to limit strengthening. The official intensity forecast remains on the high side of the numerical model guidance.”

SITUATION AND ACTIONS:

At the present time, A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued from the Anclote River south through approximately the northern one-third of the Florida Keys.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the southern two-thirds of the Florida Keys.  A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Bonita Springs to the Suwanee River including Tampa Bay.

In the ARRL West Central Florida Section, A Tropical Storm Watch and a Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte Counties.

As of press time, there have not been any requests for communications assistance from any ARES or CERT group in the ARRL West Central Florida Section.  All of the ARES groups in the ARRL West Central Florida Section have been taking preparedness actions with their equipment and supplies, and monitoring the situation carefully, just in case they are requested to active by their various served agencies.

All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should monitor their email and phones for any requests for assistance from their served agencies through their respective chains of command.  All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should perform any last minute checks on equipment and or supplies in case of activation.  Please do not self-activate as requests for assistance and or mutual assistance must follow through the proper procedure.  Any personal preparedness activities should be nearing completion.  Everyone is highly 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/MIATCPAT4+shtml/052330.shtml?
Forecast Advisory:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCMAT4+shtml/052053.shtml?
Forecast Discussion:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT4+shtml/052054.shtml?

CONCLUSION

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN will be issued around 1800 EST tomorrow evening, following the 1700 EDT advisory on Hurricane Elsa, unless conditions warrant a sooner release.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #21-03 – 1800 EDT – 7/03/21

TROPICAL STORM ELSA – 1800 EDT – 7/03/21

Elsa was downgraded to a high end tropical storm from a low end Category 1 hurricane this morning but still has winds near Tropical Storm force right near the center.  The forecast path has had only minor changes since the last bulletin yesterday evening. Elsa is continuing WNW around the periphery of the upper level subtropical ridge that is over the western Atlantic off the east coast of Florida.    The timing of the eventual northwest and north turn will depend upon how far the current trough of low pressure digs into the southeastern United States and how much that trough erodes the upper level subtropical ridge east of the State of Florida.   Impacts to the ARRL West Central Florida Section now seem more likely in the coastal counties, but the possible storm path still covers all of the ARRL West Central Florida Section.

SUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT…2100 UTC…INFORMATION

———————————————-
LOCATION…17.5N 73.9W
ABOUT 130 MI…210 KM SW OF PORT AU PRINCE HAITI
ABOUT 195 MI…310 KM E OF KINGSTON JAMAICA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…70 MPH…110 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 28 MPH…44 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1000 MB…29.53 INCHES

 

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Southern portion of Haiti from Port Au Prince to the southern border with the Dominican Republic.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* The coast of Haiti north of Port Au Prince
* Southern coast of Dominican Republic from Punta Palenque to the border with Haiti
* The Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, Santiago de Cuba, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, and Cienfuegos
* Jamaica

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* The Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, and Santiago de Cuba

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* South coast of the Dominican Republic east of Punta Palenque to Cabo Engano
* Cayman Brac and Little Cayman
* The Cuban provinces of Matanzas, Mayabeque, and Havana
* The Florida Keys from Craig Key westward to the Dry Tortugas

DISCUSSION:

The following excerpts are from the Forecast Discussion issued at 1700 EST today, “Satellite imagery shows that Elsa looks ragged and disorganized at this time, with bursts  of convection occuring near the low-level center and poorly-defined convective banding. Some of this is likely due to the the proximity of the system to Hispaniola. Air Force Reserve and NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft have reported reliable 55-60 kt surface wind estimates from the SFMR, along with the latest central pressure report of 1000 mb. The initial intensity remains 60 kt based mainly on the SFMR data.

The initial motion is now 295/24. There is little change in the forecast philosophy from the previous advisory. Elsa is approaching a weakness in the subtropical ridge caused by a  large baroclinic trough over the eastern United States. The global models forecast this trough to move eastward into the Atlantic, but the southern portion is likely to split off and become an upper-level low pressure area over the western Gulf of Mexico, with the subtropical ridge over the Atlantic situated to the east of the this low. In response, Elsa should slow its forward motion and turn northwestward during the next 48 h, followed by a general northward motion from 60-96 h and recurvature into the westerlies after that time. The forecast track takes the center near or over southwestern Haiti, Cuba, and the eastern Gulf of Mexico or the Florida Peninsula during the next 3 days or so. After that, the
system is likely to cross portions of the southeastern United States on its way into the Atlantic. The new forecast track is changed little from the previous advisory, and it lies near the center of the now reasonably-agreeing track guidance envelope.

In addition to land interaction, Elsa continues to be affected by northwesterly shear that is at least partly due to the fast low-level flow that the storm is embedded in. Some shear is
expected to continue through the next 72 h. However, once the system passes the southwestern peninsula of Haiti, there may be less land interaction than previously forecast. The intensity guidance is in good agreement on weakening during the next 48 h, and the GFS, UKMET, and ECMWF show Elsa as a not very vertically aligned system
with some separation between the low- and mid-level centers over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. After that, despite the shear, upper-level divergence associated with the aforementioned upper-level low could allow for some re-intensification as forecast by the HWRF and other models. The new NHC intensity forecast calls for some weakening in the first 48 h and then shows re-intensification over the Gulf of Mexico. Through the first 72 h,
the forecast remains at the upper edge of the intensity guidance.

Hurricane warnings remain in effect for portions of Haiti at this time, as there is still the possibility that a short-lived re-intensification might occur due to a convective burst.

Given the remaining uncertainty in the track forecast and the degree of land interaction with Hispaniola and Cuba, users are urged to factor in some of this uncertainty. For reference, average NHC track errors at days 3 and 4 are 125 miles and 150 miles,
respectively. The average NHC intensity errors are around 15 mph for both days 3 and 4.

SITUATION AND ACTIONS:

At the present time, the only watch or warning for the State of Florida is a Tropical Storm Watch in The Florida Keys from Craig Key westward to the Dry Tortugas.  At the present time there are no watches or warning for any county in the ARRL West Central Florida Section.

As of press time, there have not been any requests for communications assistance from any ARES or CERT group in the ARRL West Central Florida Section.  All of the ARES groups in the ARRL West Central Florida Section have been taking preparedness actions with their equipment and supplies, and monitoring the situation carefully, just in case they are requested to active by their various served agencies.

All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should monitor their email and phones for any requests for assistance from their served agencies through their respective chains of command.  All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should perform any last minute checks on equipment and or supplies in case of activation.  Please do not self-activate as requests for assistance and or mutual assistance must follow through the proper procedure.  Any personal preparedness activities should be brought to completion in the next 24 hours. Everyone is highly 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/MIATCPAT4+shtml/052330.shtml?
Forecast Advisory:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCMAT4+shtml/052053.shtml?
Forecast Discussion:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT4+shtml/052054.shtml?

CONCLUSION

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN will be issued around 1800 EST tomorrow evening, following the 1700 EDT advisory on Hurricane Elsa, unless conditions warrant a sooner release.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

1 2 3 4 5 41