I hope you had a good Thanksgiving & over ate to a shameful degree. It’s ok to try to be the fat of the land this time of year. I know I plan to do my part.
I have good ALERT news and I have bad ALERT news.
First the good.
Much work has been accomplished in restoring our antenna system. We now have three new tri-band antennas in the air for 6 Meters, 2 Meters, 220 MHz, 440 MHz and 1.2 GHz. So our VHF and UHF capability is better than it has ever been before.
We appreciate the work the NWS has been done for ALERT in accomplishing this.
The bad news is that as of November 27 we still don’t have an operational HF antenna, as the coax cable is still needing replacement, the original having been sushied some time back.
We won’t have an HF antenna in place in time for Skywarn Recognition Day Saturday December 5th.
Since this is primarily an HF event and we for the moment don’t have HF capability (and D-Star contacts don’t count), the Alabama Florida game competing with us, and some other factors, K4NWS won’t be active for the event this year.
Next year hopefully our HF woes will be a distant memory, the SEC Championship won’t compete with us & K4NWS, with many volunteers, will be back for SRD with a vengeance.
Online HF Receiver
Here’s something you can play with:
Want to listen to HF on your computer? Try http://remote.n2jeu.net/cgi-bin/icomr75.exe which
is an online receiver you can control from your laptop.
December, the tenth Roman Month, is the cloudiest month of the year, with only 40 to 60% of possible sunshine poking through the clouds. It is also the stormiest month of the year for the Continental US & the Gulf of Mexico. By “stormy” meaning large-scale storms, not necessarily the tornadic storms that they bring, even though we are still in the Second Tornado Season.
A region of heavy rainfall usually forms from Texas to Northwest Florida to Tennessee and Arkansas. Cold waves bringing rain, snow, ice and occasionally tornadoes, sweep across the region.
Hurricane season is now “officially” over, however Mother Nature sometimes throws a surprise in to make life interesting. In 120 years of records, from 1885 to 2005 there have been 5 December hurricanes. The last being Hurricane Epsilon during the 2005 season, the year in which we ran out of hurricane names.
Winter begins with Winter Solstice December 21 at 17:47 UTC.
December can be cloudy and cold, and, then it can swing into Spring like warmth, luring plants to bloom early, only to have the frosts and freezes to return and the plants be “nipped in the bud”.
Snow visits us in December, but we’ve never had a White Christmas.
In over 100 years of weather records, the closest we have gotten was in 1985. Flurries fell on Christmas Eve and early Christmas morning, lightly dusting some areas, but the snow was not measurable.
5.5 inches of snow fell December 22, 1929 & there was still 2.5 inches on the ground Christmas Eve. However, Christmas Day the temperature rose to 51 degrees and the snow mushed and melted away.
As my Granddad once said, “we don’t get the snow, just the cold.” Or as my Uncle said “There’s nothing seperating us from the North Pole except an old rickety barbed wire fence”.
December’s Full Moon is “Cold Moon” in Native American folklore.
The Geminid Meteor Shower peaks on December 13-14. Geminids are one of the year’s best meteor showers. It’s a consistent and prolific shower, and usually the most satisfying of all the annual showers, even surpassing the more widely recognized Perseids of August.
This shower typically produces 50 or more meteors an hour, or about one every minute. Although some meteors can be seen a couple of days before and after the peak date, you can expect the peak of the Geminid meteors to start flying through the sky around mid-evening.
This month’s meeting will be on December 8 at 7PM at the National Weather Service
Forecast office at the Shelby County Airport.
And, if there is a quorum present there will be a Board of Directors meeting after the regular meeting. If not, we will reschedule.
Until then, from Mark & Teresa’s house we wish you a Merry Christmas and 73.
Mark / WD4NYL