SATERN Activation Planned For Hurricane Matthew

October 01, 2016
William Feist, WB8BZH | | (601) 421-1496

SATERN Activation Planned For Hurricane Matthew

NHQ SATERN (10/01/2016) – The Salvation Army and SATERN are monitoring strong Category 4 Hurricane Matthew currently moving through the Caribbean Sea.  Current plans are for SATERN to be activated to at least a DELTA II (extended monitoring) Status immediately after the conclusion of the International SATERN SSB Net on Monday, 03 October 2016.  This will include continuous monitoring of the net frequency of 14.265 MHz while propagation lasts.  SATERN operators are also asked to monitor the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) on 14.325 MHz and the Maritime Mobile Service Net (MMSN) on 14.300 MHz while propagation lasts. 

When propagation on these frequencies is no longer viable, SATERN stations should monitor the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) alternate frequency of 7.268 MHz through the evening hours.

National SATERN Liaison Bill Feist, WB8BZH, stated, “Because of Matthew’s forecasted track through numerous island nations in the eastern Caribbean, it is possible that this activation may last for several days.  It is also possible that SATERN’s status may be upgraded to a more active status if conditions warrant that as Matthew moves through the Caribbean.”

Hurricane Matthew is an intense Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 155 mph that extend 45 miles from the storm’s center and tropical storm force winds that extend 205 miles from the center.  This extremely dangerous hurricane is currently forecast to turn North by sometime on Sunday morning and begin moving towards Jamaica and / or Haiti.  Tropical force winds should reach Jamaica and / or Haiti by sometime late Sunday and hurricane force winds and landfall are forecast to occur early on Monday. 

Matthew is expected to generate large amounts of rain with general totals of 10 to 15 inches across most of the impact area with isolated amounts of up to 25 inches in some areas.  This will result in life-threatening flash flooding and landslides.  Life-threatening surf and rip currents are expected in many parts of the Caribbean.

Some long-term models show Matthew taking a path that is very similar to both Hurricane Joaquin (2015) and Hurricane Sandy (2012).  Both storms caused extensive damage and loss of life in the Caribbean

All of these plans are subject to being changed depending upon the forecast for Hurricane Matthew from the National Hurricane Center.  SATERN operators should monitor the International SATERN SSB Net frequency, the news section of the National EDS website at and for up-to-date information.

According to an email from HWN Net Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, the current plan is for HWN to activate on Saturday, 01 October at 1700 (ET).  This plan was issued early on Friday morning when Matthew was still a Category 3 storm.  However, Graves reported Friday evening that with the sudden strengthening of Matthew and subsequent change in forecast from the National Hurricane Center, it is now more likely that HWN will not activate until sometime Sunday morning.  Additional information, including activation times, can be found on the HWN website at

SATERN stations are welcome to assist HWN with monitoring their frequency at any time.  SATERN operators should not “check-in” to HWN as they might with most nets.  They should only monitor the frequency to help if necessary.  The primary purpose of the HWN net is receive “observed ground-truth data from those in the affected area.”  This includes wind speed, wind gust, wind direction, barometric pressure, rain levels, damage, and storm surge reports. Measured weather data is always beneficial.   HWN is also available to provide backup communications to official agencies such as Emergency Operations Centers, the Red Cross and other officials in the affected area. This includes significant damage assessment data which will be forwarded to FEMA officials at the National Hurricane Center.

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