Hi everybody and welcome to the October ALERT Newsletter.
September has been a wet month for us & while the weather never reached the level where a callout was needed, K4NWS has been quite active this month.
The first activation was for the Alabama ARES Simplex test on September 12, which was designed to demonstrate our ability to communicate in the event of widespread repeater failure. Teresa KQ4JC & myself activated the station & we made numerous contacts on 2 meters, 6 meters, 220 and 440 MHz.
The second activation occurred on September 15. Ed Manley W4AGA activated K4NWS for the Shelby County countywide emergency responder exercise, which involved a simulated chlorine spill and ALERT’s capability to assist in supplying weather information
for plume tracking & avoidance.
These activations help us tune up for “Operation Highball” the 2009 statewide Simulated Emergency Test. This test, which will be held Saturday, October 3rd, runs from 10am to 1pm and will focus on a simulated major railroad incident that releases a plume of hazardous materials and the Emergency Community’s response handling the threat.
ALERT’s role in this will be to gather reports on wind speed and direction via RF and the Spotter Chat to aid in plume tracking, checking in on the local nets & maintaining communications with the State EMA in Clanton at KF4LQK.
It is planned that 2 meters, 220 & 440 be used & formal NTS traffic will be sent via D-Star to KF4LQK.
Volunteers are needed to man K4NWS. If you can help, please give me a call at 382-0830. If you don’t get me immediately, just leave a message via voicemail.
Several years ago, WERC speculated on a “worst case” disaster scenario for the Birmingham area. The scenario they decided on was a major wreck on I-65 at rush hour involving tanker trucks crashing & going over the railing onto railroad tanker cars passing below the interstate, both carrying either ammonia or chlorine & the resulting plume gassing the nearby gridlocked streets of Birmingham.
Of actual disaster incidents, rail accidents rank 3rd in the number of major incident responses in our state’s history, behind only severe weather outbreaks and hurricanes.
Approximately 40% of all freight transported on a daily basis in the state on rail is classified as “hazardous”. Including chlorine, ammonia, explosives, and limited amounts of radioactive materials associated with nuclear power generation, waste disposal, and weapons research.
Not to be left out is the trucking industry, carrying the same things right by your car.
(Which makes me remember the old CB term “Suicide Jockey”, and also explains why I slow for trucks and hearses.)
So, while this years SET doesn’t involve severe weather, a real life scenario would involve the NWS and ALERT.
So, if you can help with the SET, step right up & give me a call!
The tenth Mont, October is so named because it is the eighth month on the Roman calendar. To the Slavs of Eastern Europe it is called “yellow month,” from the fading of the leaf, while to the Anglo-Saxons it was known as Winterfylleth, because at this full moon (fylleth) winter was supposed to begin.
By whichever name you call it, October is a mild and dry month, the driest of the year, in fact. And, it is a sunny month with the amount of possible sunshine reaching the ground in the 60% or greater range.
Weather shifts from autumn pattern to revisiting the summer pattern and back again. The Azores-Bermuda High shifts Eastward into the Atlantic, but, leaves weaken high pressure centers over the Virginias, which still try to block out approaching fronts.
October is usually a quite month for tornadoes, with a 40% decrease in activity. Nationwide an average of 28 tornadoes occur in October and those tornadoes are usually weak.
Our Hurricane threat continues, with hurricane activity increasing during the first half of the month, concentrating in the Caribbean, both from formation in the Caribbean and from the long track Cape Verde hurricanes which enter the Caribbean. And, we still have the little “gifts” that the Gulf of Mexico occasionally will provide. But after the second half of the month the activity will begin a steady decrease.
28% of the year’s hurricanes occur in October.
This is the month for Alabama’s version of “Indian Summer’s” arrival.
Technically speaking Indian Summer doesn’t occur until “Squaw Winter” or the first frost arrives, but, exact date when Indian Summer arrives varies with latitude.
We live in Alabama, and while the earliest frosts have been know to occur by October 17, they usually wait until November. So, we, in our milder climate call the first warm up after the first cool down “Indian Summer”.
The Yellow Giant Sulphur Butterflies are very noticeable as they drift South-Southeast on their migration towards Florida. They prefer red things & if you have red flowers they will zero in on them.
The Monarchs also will be seen gliding by in their migration towards Central America.
Fall colors will become prominent & by late October & Early November the leaves will be reaching their peak fall colors.
October’s Full Moon is “Hunters Moon” in Native American folklore.
Don’t, too worried about Indians though; think more on the line of hobgoblins and hoodlums as Halloween arrives.
Feel you heart with cheer, doesn’t it?
This month’s meeting will be on October 13 at 7PM at the National Weather Service
forecast office at the Shelby County Airport.
We among other things will be discussing the recent tests, WXSpots, APRS & other resources available for ALERT Operations.
I hope to see you there.
73 and take care.