Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Air Recon Taskings for Hurricanes Earl/ Fiona 1 September

000
NOUS42 KNHC 311530
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1130 AM EDT TUE 31 AUGUST 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 01/1100Z TO 02/1100Z SEPTEMBER 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-092

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. HURRICANE EARL
FLIGHT 0NE -- TEAL 72
A. 01/1800Z
B. AFXXX 1007A EARL
C. 01/1315Z
D. 26.0N 72.5W
E. 01/1545Z TO 01/1815Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- NOAA 49
A. 02/0000Z
B. NOAA9 1107A EARL
C. 01/1730Z
D. NA
E. NA
F. 41,000 TO 45,000 FT

FLIGHT THREE -- TEAL 71
A. 02/0600, 1200Z
B. AFXXX 1207A EARL
C. 02/0230Z
D. 28.5N 69.7W
E. 02/0530Z TO 02/1200Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

2. TROPICAL STORM FIONA
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 01/1800, 02/0000Z
B. AFXXX 0308A FIONA
C. 01/1645Z
D. 19.5N 62.5W
E. 01/1730Z TO 02/0000Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

3. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: CONTINUE 6-HRLY FIXES ON EARL.
POSSIBLE G-IV MISSION FOR 03/0000Z.
4. REMARKS: NOAA P-3'S WILL RESUME FLYING EVERY 12 HRS
INTO EARL STARTING AT 01/0800Z. THE G-V WILL DO RESEARCH
IN FIONA DEPARTING AT 01/1000Z.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
JWP

Air Recon Taskings for Hurricane Earl 31 August

000
NOUS42 KNHC 301730
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
0130 PM EDT MON 30 AUGUST 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 31/1100Z AUGUST TO 01/1100Z SEPTEMBER 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-091

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
HURRICANE EARL
FLIGHT 0NE -- NOAA 49 FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 78
A. 01/0000Z A. 01/0000Z
B. NOAA9 0707A EARL B. AFXXX 0807A EARL
C. 31/1730Z C. 31/1730Z
F. 41,000 TO 45,000 FT F. 24,000 TO 33,000 FT
FLIGHT THREE -- TEAL 77
A. 01/1800Z
B. AFXXX 0907A EARL
C. 01/0115Z
D. 24.0N 69.7W
E. 01/0530Z TO 01/0800Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT
SUSPECT AREA
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 71 FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 70
A. 31/1800Z A. 01/0600, 1200Z
B. AFXXX 01EEA INVEST B. AFXXX 0208A CYCLONE
C. 31/1600Z C. 01/0415Z
D. 15.7N 55.0W D. 17.0N 58.4W
E. 31/1730Z TO 32/2130Z E. 01/0530Z TO 01/1200Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT F. SFC TO 15,000 FT
2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: BEGIN 6-HRLYS ON EARL

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hurricane Earl Public Advisory #21

000
WTNT32 KNHC 301445
TCPAT2
BULLETIN
HURRICANE EARL ADVISORY NUMBER 21
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072010
1100 AM AST MON AUG 30 2010

...EARL BECOMES A MAJOR HURRICANE...


SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...18.7N 63.6W
ABOUT 95 MI...150 KM ENE OF ST. THOMAS
ABOUT 165 MI...265 KM E OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...120 MPH...195 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 285 DEGREES AT 15 MPH...24 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...960 MB...28.35 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

A HURRICANE WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE PUERTO RICAN ISLANDS OF CULEBRA AND VIEQUES.

THE GOVERNMENT OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA HAS CHANGED THE HURRICANE WARNING FOR ANTIGUA...BARBUDA...MONTSERRAT...ST. KITTS...AND NEVIS TO A TROPICAL STORM WARNING.

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* ANGUILLA
* SAINT MARTIN AND SAINT BARTHELEMY
* ST. MAARTEN...SABA...AND ST. EUSTATIUS
* BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
* U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
* PUERTO RICAN ISLANDS OF CULEBRA AND VIEQUES

A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* PUERTO RICO

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* ANTIGUA...BARBUDA...MONTSERRAT...ST. KITTS...AND NEVIS
* PUERTO RICO

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS

HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA...IN THIS CASE WITHIN THE NEXT 12 HOURS. PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD HAVE ALREADY BEEN COMPLETED.

HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...IN THIS CASE WITHIN THE NEXT 12 HOURS OR SO.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO PUERTO RICO AND THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY THE SAN JUAN NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE EARL WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 18.7 NORTH...LONGITUDE 63.6 WEST. EARL IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 15 MPH...24 KM/HR. THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TODAY AND TONIGHT...FOLLOWED BY A TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST ON TUESDAY. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF EARL WILL PASS NEAR OR OVER THE NORTHERNMOST VIRGIN ISLANDS THIS AFTERNOON AND THIS EVENING.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 120 MPH...195 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. EARL IS A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 60 MILES...95 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 185 MILES...295 KM. ST. MAARTEN REPORTED A WIND GUST TO 68 MPH...109 KM/HR WITHIN THE PAST FEW HOURS.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 960 MB...28.35 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...HURRICANE CONDITIONS WILL BE SPREADING ACROSS THE NORTHERN VIRGIN ISLANDS DURING THE NEXT FEW HOURS. TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS WILL SPREAD OVER PORTIONS OF PUERTO RICO THIS AFTERNOON...WITH HURRICANE CONDITIONS POSSIBLE THIS EVENING AND TONIGHT. STRONGER WINDS...ESPECIALLY IN GUSTS...ARE LIKELY OVER ELEVATED TERRAIN IN PUERTO RICO.

STORM SURGE...STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 3 TO 5 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL PRIMARILY NEAR THE COAST IN AREAS OF ONSHORE WIND WITHIN THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA...AND 1 TO 3 FEET IN THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA. THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES.

RAINFALL...EARL IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS
OF 4 TO 8 INCHES OVER THE LEEWARD ISLANDS...THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND
PUERTO RICO...WITH POSSIBLE ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 12 INCHES...
ESPECIALLY OVER HIGHER ELEVATIONS. THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE
LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUDSLIDES.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT INTERMEDIATE ADVISORIES...100 PM AST AND 300 PM AST.
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...500 PM AST.

$$
FORECASTER BROWN

Hurricane Watch Net Activates on 14325 kHz

The National Hurricane Center has requested activation of the amateur Hurricane Watch Net on 14325 kHz. This net is used for dissemination of official advisories and collection of live weather observations from affected areas. Various stations act as net control in the marathon sessions.

HWN is active for Hurricane Earl, which is nearing Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Air Recon Taskings for Hurricane Earl 30 August

000
NOUS42 KNHC 291500
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1100 AM EDT SUN 29 AUGUST 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 30/1100Z TO 31/1100Z AUGUST 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-090

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
HURRICANE EARL
FLIGHT 0NE -- TEAL 70
A. 31/0000,0600Z
B. AFXXX 0507A EARL
C. 30/2245Z
D. 19.6N 64.5W
E. 30/2330Z TO 31/0600Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71
A. 31/1200,1800Z
B. AFXXX 0607A EARL
C. 31/1030Z
D. 21.1N 66.3W
E. 31/1130Z TO 31/1800Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: BEGIN 12-HRLY FIXES AT 01/0600Z.
PROBABLE G-IV MISSION FOR 01/0000Z.

3. REMARKS:
A. G-IV MISSION FOR 30/0000Z CNX AT 29/0600Z AND
IS NOW FLYING RESEARCH TAKING OFF AT 29/1730Z.
B. P-3 RESEARCH MISSION INTO EARL TAKING OFF AT
30/0800Z AND OPERATING AT 12,000 FT.
C. NASA DC-8 10 HR MISION INTO EARL DEPARTING
30/1400Z AND OPERATING AT 32,000 TO 39,000 FT.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
JWP

Friday, August 27, 2010

Air Recon Taskings for T.S. Earl 28-29 August

It appears that Danielle, despite being a major hurricane, is now of interest to shipping and a possible near miss of Bermuda. US air recon is switching to Air Force Reserve "Hurricane Hunter" and US government NOAA flights into Earl.
ae
000
NOUS42 KNHC 271400
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1000 AM EDT FRI 27 AUGUST 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 28/1100Z TO 29/1100Z AUGUST 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-088

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. TROPICAL STORM EARL
FLIGHT ONE -- NOAA 49
A. 29/0000Z
B. NOAA9 0107A EARL
C. 28/1730Z
D. NA
E. NA
F. 41,000 TO 45,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 70
A. 29/1200,1800Z
B. AFXXX 0207A EARL
C. 29/0945Z
D. 17.5N 56.0W
E. 29/1130Z TO 29/1800Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK:
A. CONTINUE 6-HRLY FIXES
B. PROBABLE G-0IV MISSION FOR 30/0000Z
3. REMARKS: NOAA P-3'S WILL BEGIN A SERIES OF RESEARCH
MISSIONS INTO EARL AT 28/2000Z. TAKEOFFS EVERY 12
HOURS AND FLOWN AT 12,000 FT.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
JWP

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Air Recon Taskings for 27/28 Aug (Supersedes yesterday's TCPOD)

000
NOUS42 KNHC 261430
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1030 AM EDT THU 26 AUGUST 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 27/1100Z TO 28/1100Z AUGUST 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-087

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. HURRICANE DANIELLE
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 27/1800Z
B. AFXXX 0106A DANIELLE
C. 27/1330Z
D. 27.2N 59.7W
E. 27/1545Z TO 27/1900Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71
A. 28/0600Z
B. AFXXX 0206A DANIELLE
C. 28/0115Z
D. 28.5N 60.5W
E. 28/0345Z TO 28/0700Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: POSSIBLE FIX ON DANIELLE
AT 28/1800Z NEAR 30.7N 61.0W
3. ADDITIONAL DAY OUTLOOK: POSSIBLE FIX OF TROPICAL STORM
EARL AT 29/1800Z NEAR 17.5N 54.5W

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
JWP

Air Recon/ Research Taskings for 24-27 August

000
NOUS42 KNHC 241300
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
0900 AM EDT TUE 24 AUGUST 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 25/1100Z TO 26/1100Z AUGUST 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-085

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK.....NEGATIVE.
3. REMARKS: THE NASA DC-8 WILL FLY AN 8-HR RESEARCH
MISSION IN THE GULF OF MEXICO TODAY AT 38,000 FT.
TAKEOFF TIME IS 24/1400Z.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
JWP


-------------------------

000
NOUS42 KNHC 251330
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
0930 AM EDT WED 25 AUGUST 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 26/1100Z TO 27/1100Z AUGUST 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-086

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: BEGIN 12-HRLY FIXES
ON HURRICANE DANIELLE NEAR 25.5N 59.7W
AT 27/1800Z.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
JWP

The Time Has Come...

000
WTNT31 KNHC 260239
TCPAT1
BULLETIN
HURRICANE DANIELLE ADVISORY NUMBER 18
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062010
1100 PM AST WED AUG 25 2010

...DANIELLE NOW A CATEGORY 2 HURRICANE...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...22.4N 54.1W
ABOUT 650 MI...1050 KM ENE OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS
ABOUT 945 MI...1525 KM SE OF BERMUDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...100 MPH...160 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 320 DEGREES AT 17 MPH...28 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...975 MB...28.79 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

INTERESTS IN BERMUDA SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF DANIELLE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE DANIELLE WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 22.4 NORTH...LONGITUDE 54.1 WEST. DANIELLE IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 17 MPH...28 KM/HR...AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE WITH A DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 100 MPH...160 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. DANIELLE IS A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AND DANIELLE COULD BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE BY FRIDAY.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 40 MILES...65 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 175 MILES...280 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 975 MB...28.79 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
NONE.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...500 AM AST.

$$
FORECASTER BLAKE



--------------------------

000
WTNT32 KNHC 260241
TCPAT2
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM EARL ADVISORY NUMBER 3
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072010
1100 PM AST WED AUG 25 2010

...EARL MOVING WESTWARD OVER THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...14.7N 33.6W
ABOUT 615 MI...990 KM W OF THE SOUTHERNMOST CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 275 DEGREES AT 16 MPH...26 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1006 MB...29.71 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM EARL WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 14.7 NORTH...LONGITUDE 33.6 WEST. EARL IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 16 MPH...26 KM/HR. THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE DURING THE NEXT TWO DAYS KEEPING THE CYCLONE OVER THE WATERS OF THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 40 MPH...65 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AND EARL IS FORECAST TO BECOME A HURRICANE BY LATE FRIDAY.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 60 MILES...95 KM FROM THE CENTER.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1006 MB...29.71 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
NONE.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...500 AM AST.

$$
FORECASTER BROWN


--------------------------------

000
WTPZ34 KNHC 260250
TCPEP4
BULLETIN
HURRICANE FRANK ADVISORY NUMBER 18
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP092010
800 PM PDT WED AUG 25 2010

...FRANK STRENGTHENS A LITTLE...


SUMMARY OF 800 PM PDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...17.2N 107.5W
ABOUT 250 MI...405 KM SSW OF CABO CORRIENTES MEXICO
ABOUT 425 MI...680 KM SSE OF THE SOUTHERN TIP OF BAJA CALIFORNIA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH...130 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 285 DEGREES AT 14 MPH...22 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...984 MB...29.06 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 800 PM PDT...0300 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE FRANK WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 17.2 NORTH...LONGITUDE 107.5 WEST. FRANK IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 14 MPH...22 KM/HR...AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT DAY OR SO. A REDUCTION IN FORWARD SPEED IS LIKELY TO OCCUR ON FRIDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 80 MPH...130 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. FRANK IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. HOWEVER...WEAKENING IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON FRIDAY AS FRANK MOVES OVER COOLER WATER.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 15 MILES...30 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES...110 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 984 MB...29.06 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
NONE.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...200 AM PDT.

$$
FORECASTER BROWN

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hurricane Danielle Advisory #9

00
WTNT31 KNHC 232033
TCPAT1
BULLETIN
HURRICANE DANIELLE ADVISORY NUMBER 9
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062010
500 PM AST MON AUG 23 2010

...DANIELLE BECOMES A HURRICANE...THE SECOND OF THE ATLANTIC SEASON...

SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...15.4N 41.5W
ABOUT 1320 MI...2120 KM E OF THE LESSER ANTILLES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH...120 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 17 MPH...28 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...987 MB...29.15 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 500 PM AST...2100 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE DANIELLE WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 15.4 NORTH...LONGITUDE 41.5 WEST. DANIELLE IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 17 MPH...28 KM/HR...AND IS EXPECTED TO TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST BY TUESDAY NIGHT.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 75 MPH...120 KM/HR... WITH HIGHER GUSTS. DANIELLE IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND DANIELLE IS FORECAST TO BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE BY WEDNESDAY.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 10 MILES...20 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES...110 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 987 MB...29.15 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
NONE.

NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...1100 PM AST.

$$
FORECASTER BERG

Friday, August 13, 2010

Digital Mode Programs That Work #4: PC-ALE

It's not hyperbole to say that PC-ALE was the one program that totally revolutionized utility radio listening. It feels like forever since Charles Brain, G4GUO, suddenly appeared on the scene with a very functional Windows program for receiving AND transmitting in what was then the fairly new radio mode of Automatic Link Establishment.

A full description of PC-ALE would require a book. It's a big program, though it doesn't look it. It has a lot of parameters, and no one has ever fully explained some of them. There's no PC-ALE For Dummies. This makes it one of the more intimidating programs available to hobbyists free of charge.

Fortunately, the hams have taken it up in a big way, and they're driving most of the program's evolution. A few years back, it bifurcated into two major variants. These are a continuing refinement of PC-ALE, and a split-off called MARS-ALE.

As the names would suggest, this was due to the different needs of worldwide use in amateur bands (HFLINK) vs the more structured nature of the Military Auxiliary Radio System. Both of these programs are being actively supported by N2CKH.

Both of these have dedicated Yahoo groups. N2CKH maintains that MARS-ALE is actually the best of the two for receiving. I've experimented with it, and also with the newer PC-ALE versions, but the one I like best for completely personal reasons is still PC-ALE 1.071 Alpha.

MARS-ALE comes with transmitting blocked unless you have DoD authorization. Don't even try transmitting with PC-ALE until you've joined the HFLINK group, gone to its site, and read up on how to do this without destroying amateur-grade equipment.

PC-ALE comes fairly well configured for receiving right out of the box. I tweak a few things having to do with radio control, but these are different for every installation out there. Mostly, you want to make sure you've enabled the logging of soundings (propagation checks).

Frequencies are entered by a clunky interface and then you go to the "QRG files" menu and save them. QRG? means, "What's the frequency?" A QRG file is basically a freq list with associated parameters and network addresses to be used with that list.

You'd think that all the bugs in PC-ALE's basic engine would be out by now, but you would think wrong. As noted, the innovation has been driven by other needs, such as getting it scanning with all even semi-popular radios, or using IP networks with 3rd-party additions.

One nasty bug I've always had goes as follows. Stay with me, because this can really mess up your loggings. Let's look at an extract fresh from today's log:
[20:11:20][FRQ 23337000][SND][ ][TWS][ADW ][AL0] BER 0 SN 00
[20:11:20][FRQ 18003000][SND][ ][TWS][ADW ][AL0] BER 30 SN 08
[20:11:20][FRQ 17976000][SND][ ][TWS][ADWSPR ][AL0] BER 27 SN 07

What has happened here is that PC-ALE has created three different hits from what was one single long sounding on 17967. Most people will say wow, three freqs in one second. Well, no, because I've watched these appear on the screen and there have never, ever, been actual transmissions on these extra logged frequencies.

The dead giveaway is that the third of these shows a bit-error rate and SINAD of zero. Such a case wouldn't even decode. It's an obvious program malfunction caused by resuming scan while data from the sound is still being processed.

To be safe, I go through PC-ALE logs and eliminate doubles or triples with the same time and 00 measurements in the last one. Accurate frequency logging is worth it.

Just to confuse things more, the second two have truncated off the last part of ADWSPR due to technical reasons having to do with how all but the first three letters of ALE addresses are sent. Since ADW is also in use by Andrews AFB, it's easy to get confused here. These truncations can occur in any incomplete decode, not just mishandled sounds.

Another issue (not a bug) is the clattering of relays in many radios when they're being scanned. These peak the front-end circuit by switching filters as frequency is changed. If you're going to leave it scanning for hours or days at a stretch, this no doubt shortens their life.

Newer versions of PC-ALE have a "silent" mode which is said to stop this on some radios. I haven't tried this. On the NRD-545, I turn off the relays manually before starting PC-ALE.

Now that I've scared EVERYBODY off of PC-ALE or MARS-ALE, don't be deterred. The rewards are great if one gets the hang of either of these. Happy gurgling.

International Lighthouse/ Lightship Weekend, Aug. 21-22

International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend

Full details here

AN ANNUAL AMATEUR RADIO WEEKEND EVENT.
CONDUCTED UNDER THE SPONSORSHIP OF THE AYR AMATEUR RADIO GROUP, SCOTLAND ON THE THIRD FULL WEEKEND IN AUGUST.
THIS YEAR'S EVENT - 21-22 AUGUST 2010

The event came into being from the Scottish Northern Lighthouses award weekend . See also the Ayr Group web site for further history and here for the original ILLW web site and 1998 list by Bob Dixon, GM3ZDH. Over the past 13 years it has grown to over 400 lighthouses in some 50 countries around the world participating in the event.

The event is always held on the 3rd full weekend in August starting at 0001 UTC on Saturday and finishing at 2359 UTC on Sunday. It also now coincides on the Sunday with the International Lighthouse Day which is an event organised by the International Association of Lighthouse Keepers whereby as many world lighthouses will be open to the public for the day.

PURPOSE

The basic objective of the event is to promote public awareness of lighthouses and lightships and their need for preservation and restoration, to promote amateur radio and to foster International goodwill.

So come and join us in the fun of the weekend, establish a station at a lighthouse, lightship or maritime beacon. The more the merrier. If you decide to join us in the fun just fill in the official online entry form with your details. This will enable other stations to be aware of who is participating in the event. You may also send you entry, or any questions regarding the rules, via the "Contact Webmaster link in the main menu.

Starting Tomorrow, NASA In Cyclones' GRIP

8/10/10:
NASA's HIRAD Instrument to Provide Unique View of Hurricane Wind Speeds

NASA researchers are furiously preparing for late summer when they will fly a series of unique hurricane instruments, including a brand new instrument that will take two-dimensional wind speed measurements over some of the world's fiercest storms.

The instrument will be part of a six-week NASA mission to study tropical cyclones beginning Aug. 15. The Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes mission, or GRIP, will study the creation and rapid intensification of hurricanes. The campaign involves three planes with 15 instruments that will work together to create the most complete view of hurricanes to date.

Scientists and engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. along with their partners from across the country have built the Hurricane Imaging Radiometer, HIRAD for short, to contribute to the effort. HIRAD will help determine the strength and structure of hurricanes by looking at wind speeds deep within the storm. This August and September, HIRAD will fly in the belly of a WB-57 airplane at about 60,000 feet, about twice the altitude of a commercial airliner.


7/7/10:
NASA to Fly Into Hurricane Research This Summer

PASADENA, Calif. – Three NASA aircraft will begin flights to study tropical cyclones on Aug. 15 during the agency's first major U.S.-based hurricane field campaign since 2001. The Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes mission, or GRIP, will study the creation and rapid intensification of hurricanes. Advanced instruments from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., will be aboard two of the aircraft.

...

Three NASA satellites will play a key role in supplying data about tropical cyclones during the field mission. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, or TRMM, managed by both NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, will provide rainfall estimates and help pinpoint the locations of "hot towers" or powerhouse thunderstorms in tropical cyclones. The CloudSat spacecraft, developed and managed by JPL, will provide cloud profiles of storms, which include altitude, temperatures and rainfall intensity. Several instruments onboard NASA's Aqua satellite, including JPL's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), will provide infrared, visible and microwave data that reveal such factors as temperature, air pressure, precipitation, cloud ice content, convection and sea surface temperatures.

The three NASA aircraft taking part in the mission are a DC-8, WB-57 and a remotely piloted Global Hawk. The DC-8 will fly out of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. The WB-57 will be based at the NASA Johnson Space Center's Ellington Field in Houston. The Global Hawk will be piloted and based from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, in Palmdale, Calif., while flying for up to 20 hours in the vicinity of hurricanes in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New Monitoring Times RSS Service Puts Everything In One Place

Monitoring Times has just created a new Really Simple Syndication (RSS) aggregator on its web homepage. It's in a text box, which shows titles and links from the last four posts to each of MT's blogs.

This is very useful. It beats jumping around 6 blogs any day.

It's at http://www.monitoringtimes.com/ .

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Air Recon Taskings (Mostly Canceled) for 10/11-12

000
NOUS42 KNHC 111900
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
0300 PM EDT WED 11 AUGUST 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 12/1100Z TO 13/1100Z AUGUST 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-073 AMENDMENT

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS --AMENDED
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
3. REMARKS:
A.ALL TASKING FOR THE AIR FORCE ON TD-05
WAS CANX BY NHC AT 11/1830Z.
B. NOAA IS STILL PLANNING TO FLY SEVERAL
RESEARCH MISSONS THAT WERE ON TCPOD 10-072.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK.....NEGATIVE.
WVW

TD-5 Final Advisory #5

000
WTNT35 KNHC 112034
TCPAT5
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION FIVE ADVISORY NUMBER 5
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL052010
400 PM CDT WED AUG 11 2010

...DEPRESSION DISSIPATES...THIS IS THE LAST ADVISORY...
...POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY RAINFALL ALONG THE GULF COAST REMAINS...


SUMMARY OF 400 PM CDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...28.3N 87.6W
ABOUT 170 MI...270 KM S OF MOBILE ALABAMA
ABOUT 105 MI...170 KM ESE OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...30 MPH...45 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 305 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...19 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1009 MB...29.80 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING ALONG THE NORTHERN GULF COAST HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED STATES...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 400 PM CDT...2100 UTC...THE REMNANT OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION FIVE WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 28.3 NORTH...LONGITUDE 87.6 WEST. THE REMNANT IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 12 MPH...19 KM/HR. THIS GENERAL MOTION IS FORECAST TO CONTINUE TONIGHT...WITH A DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED EXPECTED ON THURSDAY. THE REMNANT IS LIKELY TO REACH THE NORTHERN GULF COAST TONIGHT OR EARLY THURSDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 30 MPH...45 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS EXPECTED BEFORE THE REMNANT REACHES THE COAST.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1009 MB...29.80 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
RAINFALL...TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 8 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE FROM SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA TO THE WESTERN FLORIDA PANHANDLE THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING.

STORM SURGE...A STORM SURGE COULD RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 1 TO 2 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL ALONG THE IMMEDIATE COAST IN AREAS OF ONSHORE WIND.


NEXT ADVISORY
--------------
THIS IS THE LAST PUBLIC ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER ON THIS SYSTEM. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE POTENTIAL RAINFALL THREAT CAN BE FOUND IN FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER AND LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICES.

$$
FORECASTER BROWN

Air Recon Taskings for TD-5 8/11/10

000
NOUS42 KNHC 101515
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1115 AM EDT TUE 10 AUGUST 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 11/1100Z TO 12/1100Z AUGUST 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-072

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA - GULF OF MEXICO
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 11/1800Z, 12/0000Z
B. AFXXX 0305A CYCLONE
C. 11/1630Z
D. 27.3N 86.5W
E. 11/1730Z TO 12/0000Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71
A. 12/0600, 0900, 1200Z
B. AFXXX 0405A CYCLONE
C. 12/0500Z
D. 28.7N 89.3W
E. 12/0530Z TO 12/1200Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY: CONTINUE 3 HRLY FIXES
IF SYSTEM DEVELOPS.
3. REMARKS: NOAA IS PLANNING SEVERAL RESEARCH MISSONS
INTO THIS SYSTEM.
A. G-IV NOAA 49 TAKEOFF 11/1730Z 41,000 TO 45,000 FT
B. P-3 NOAA 42 TAKEOFF 11/2000Z 12,000 FT
C. P-3 NOAA 42 TAKEOFF 12/0800Z 12,000 FT

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK.....NEGATIVE.
JWP

TD-5 Intermediate Advisory #2A

000
WTNT35 KNHC 110547
TCPAT5
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION FIVE INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 2A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL052010
200 AM EDT WED AUG 11 2010

...DEPRESSION MOVING SLOWLY NORTHWESTWARD...


SUMMARY OF 200 AM EDT...0600 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...26.3N 84.5W
ABOUT 240 MI...385 KM S OF APALACHICOLA FLORIDA
ABOUT 340 MI...550 KM ESE OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 320 DEGREES AT 5 MPH...7 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1008 MB...29.77 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* DESTIN FLORIDA TO INTRACOASTAL CITY LOUISIANA...INCLUDING LAKE
PONTCHARTRAIN AND NEW ORLEANS

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN 36 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED
STATES...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE
MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE
UNITED STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL
METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 200 AM EDT...0600 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION FIVE
WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 26.3 NORTH...LONGITUDE 84.5 WEST. THE
DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 5 MPH...7 KM/HR. AN
INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED EARLY WEDNESDAY FOLLOWED BY A
GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST WITHIN THE NEXT 24 TO 36
HOURS. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF THE TROPICAL CYCLONE
WILL BE APPROACHING THE NORTH CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO BY LATE
TONIGHT OR EARLY THURSDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 35 MPH...55 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. SLOW STRENGTHENING IS EXPECTED...AND THE DEPRESSION IS
FORECAST TO BECOME A TROPICAL STORM LATER TODAY OR TONIGHT.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1008 MB...29.77 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
RAINFALL...TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES WITH ISOLATED
MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 10 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE ALONG THE NORTHERN AND
NORTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO COAST.

WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN AFFECTING THE
TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA BY LATE WEDNESDAY...MAKING OUTSIDE
PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS.

STORM SURGE...A STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 2
TO 4 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL ALONG THE IMMEDIATE COAST NEAR AND TO
THE EAST OF WHERE THE CENTER MAKES LANDFALL.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...500 AM EDT.

$$
FORECASTER STEWART

Monday, August 09, 2010

Digital Mode Programs That Work #3: SeaTTY

Recently, I read a rather impromptu test done by WZ7I. It seemed to indicate that a popular ham program called TrueTTY actually had better "sensitivity" than a tweaked version of the older MMTTY, which I'd always figured was the hot setup.

This got me interested, since I'd used TrueTTY in the past, and liked it. So I went to the DXSoft site where the clever Russian programmer Sergei Podstrigailo, UA9OSV, has his latest stuff.

What I noticed, though, is that his other NBDP program, called SeaTTY, was starting to look like a better deal for users who wanted to concentrate on receiving, especially in the maritime bands. Needless to say, I grabbed it, in version 2.30.

SeaTTY looks like TrueTTY, with the same sleek user interface showing the FFT amplitude plot at the top and the bit scope at the bottom. Its purpose, though, is not making ham QSOs. It's listed as a "weather messages decoder," and indeed it's set up to facilitate the unattended grabbing and filing of same.

Modes decoded are RTTY, Navtex/ Sitor-B, DSC (HF/VHF), HF FAX, and NWR-SAME. The latter is a VHF signaling mode used by weather broadcasts to target specific areas.

I put SeaTTY to work on the longwave RTTY weather broadcast from Hamburg/Pinneberg Meteo in Germany, as received by the WebSDR in the Netherlands. It started up, spat out a few garbage characters, then happily produced a steady 100% decode. I ran MMTTY and SkySweeper alongside, and MMTTY was also 100%. SkySweeper was good, but produced the inexplicable character errors I've come to expect from its RTTY mode.

This was too easy. I waited for propagation, and gave it the RTTY weather from CFH in Halifax, NS. This is never a good path to SoCal, and the geomagnetic storm had left some extra fading. Interestingly, SeaTTY and MMTTY produced about the same percentage of characters decoded, but messed up in different places. While the decode rate was about the same, SeaTTY actually produced somewhat more readable copy.

SeaTTY was about as good as DSCDecoder on Navtex and HF Sitor-B weather. It files successful Navtex decodes in a slick directory tree structure, with the copy showing in a window alongside. The save is automatic, as long as the Telex start code (ZCZC) and end code (NNNN) are detected.

DSC decode shows as a numeric dump of the raw symbols, but clicking the time stamp produces the message. The only missing feature compared to DSCDecoder is the instant lookup of MMSI numbers in the ITU database.

Where I really had fun, though, was the FAX. It's a very well thought out interface for this mode. Finally, there's a FAX decoder as intuitive and generally slick as the old JVComm, but which doesn't print "Demo" all over your faxes until you pony up. (SeaTTY, like DSCDecoder, waits a set number of days, then sulks until you pay. It's $35 and easy to register.)

I'd long since learned how to play SkySweeper's fax interface like a musical instrument, and turn out awesome copy, but right now I think I'll switch to SeaTTY. Once I get used to it, I suspect it'll be just as good, and with less general fuss to get working. Faxes, like Navtex messages, get time stamped and autosaved, accessible from the directory tree. Good stuff.

To sum up, SeaTTY is a keeper. I gladly paid up. Now I go forth into the Ether with some good tools.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Asteroid Named for US Amateur Organization

Yup. The American Radio Relay League now has an asteroid named for it. However, at 2 AU out from the sun (twice Earth's distance) and magnitude 19.2 (that's dim, folks), the hams probably shouldn't try using it as a passive signal repeater. It's said, though, that a very good amateur astronomy telescope with a sensitive CCD should be able to photograph it... barely.

ARRL Letter 8/5/2010:
It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane! No, It’s an Asteroid -- Asteroid (31531) ARRL, To Be Exact!
07/31/2010

John, Paul, George and Ringo are on the list. Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and Brahms -- even Frank Zappa and Elvis (but not Madonna). Of course Asimov and Sagan made the cut, Mr Spock, too, but not Captain Kirk. And now ARRL -- more precisely, (31531) ARRL -- joins this prestigious company as one of more than 16,000 named minor planets in our solar system. A minor planet -- such as an asteroid --is an astronomical object in direct orbit around the Sun that is neither a dominant planet -- such as Mercury, Saturn and Neptune -- nor a comet. The first minor planet -- named Ceres -- was discovered in 1801. Since then, more than 200,000 minor planets have been discovered, most of them lying in the asteroid belt. But as of July 27, 2010, only 16,005 had been named.

...

Joe Montani, W7DXW -- senior research specialist with the Spacewatch Near-Earth Asteroid Project Lunar and Planetary Lab at the University of Arizona -- told the ARRL that he had discovered (31531) ARRL in his work discovering and observing Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs). He said he had received confirmation that the asteroid had been officially named as of July 27; it can take 10 years or more for the smaller objects -- such as asteroids, dwarf planets and comets -- to receive names. (31531) ARRL was discovered in 1999.

“The naming was proposed to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Committee on Small Bodies Nomenclature (CSBN), and was accepted by the CSBN and published to the world on July 27, 2010 at about 1900 UTC,” Montani said. “The full name of the object is (31531) ARRL. The number in parenthesis is the so-called ‘permanent number’ that an asteroid receives after its orbit is sufficiently accurately determined so that it can never become ‘lost.’ ‘ARRL, is, of course, the acronym of the American Radio Relay League.”

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Auroral Storm Right On Schedule

The Boulder K index has gone from 1 to 5. Odd auroral effects on radio signals are starting to become audible here, so you know it must be getting "interesting" farther north. We really shouldn't expect much on high-latitude paths for a while.

Spaceweather.com:

Space Weather News for August 3, 2010

CME IMPACT: As expected, a coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field on August 3rd. The impact, which occurred around 1730 UT, sparked a polar geomagnetic storm. At the time that this alert is being written, sky watchers in Europe as far south as Germany are reporting red and green Northern Lights. If the storm sustains itself for a few more hours, people in North America might see a similar display. Sky watchers in Alaska, Canada, and northern-tier US states such as Wisconsin, Minnesota and Maine should be alert for auroras.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Start Watching the K Index

Breathless news reports indicate magnetic fluctuations, and one has even blamed it for an earthquake. (Not likely.)

The K index comes out every 3 hours, and measures the most disturbed of three axes on standard magnetometers on a quasi-logarithmic scale from one to nine. The high latitudes will be affected first. Paths from places like Japan will degrade. When the Boulder ("WWV") K index rises, you know it's happening.

Light Show Starts Late Tomorrow Night

The Boulder K index is still only 2 right now, but this is supposed to change when a CME gets here Tuesday UTC.

MSNBC Cosmic Log:

Here comes the sun storm

Alan Boyle writes: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has captured what appears to be a disturbance in the force - on the sun. Astronomers say Sunday morning's eruption sent out a blast of electrically charged particles that should create brilliant auroral displays on Tuesday night.

"This eruption is directed right at us, and is expected to get here early in the day on August 4th [UTC? -Hugh]," astronomer Leon Golub said in a statement from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "It's the first major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time."

Monday, August 02, 2010

Large Event on Sun Sends CME Earthward

GLOBAL ERUPTION: During the early hours of August 1st, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a complex global disturbance on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Most of the sun's northern hemisphere was involved in the event, which included a long-duration C3-class solar flare, a "solar tsunami," and a massive filament eruption. As a result of these blasts, a coronal mass ejection (CME) is heading toward Earth. High-latitude geomagnetic storms and auroras are possible when the cloud arrives a few days hence. Check http://spaceweather.com for movies and updates.