Ten Year Anniversary: Western MA Tornadoes

Radar image of Springfield tornado, 2011From South Coast MA Amateur Radio Group Facebook page:

Today is the 10-year anniversary of the tornadoes that struck Western and Central portions of Massachusetts. In this video we hear and see the important role that Amateur Radio Operators played relaying “ground truth” information to the National Weather Service Office in Taunton. A compilation video of the June 1, 2011 EF3-Tornado with photos from Amateur Radio Operators, SKYWARN Spotters, NWS Storm Survey and an aerial survey from Amateur Radio Operators.

Happy Birthday, Rhode Island ARES

Paul Silverzweig, W1PJS, writes on main@ri-ares.groups.io:

With Memorial Day weekend comes the 4th Anniversary of our very first leadership meeting, held in Coventry, which included several of our current leadership who have been with us through the entire time.

We have done much in those few short years. We began with just a core leadership team and a lot of void to fill. About two months after that first meeting I deployed to Houston TX for Hurricane Harvey, and a month later went directly to Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria… I was away for 7 months in total… obviously this impacted the first year of RIARES rebirth… but we are strong now, with about 100 members, and a strong leadership team. We have, in those 4 years, held 6 exercises, participated in more than a dozen public service events, established a 501c3 nonprofit RIARES Foundation, developed a Preparedness & Training Guide, have the most active weekly repeater net in RI, with a simplex VHF net and an HF net gaining participation.

I’d like to thank all of the leadership team and members who have helped bring us to where we are.

We have a long way to go, however. So I am asking all of you to pull a bit harder, participate a bit more, and step up when you can for events, exercises, training courses, and most importantly, with ideas on what you think will help us go forward.

Thank you!

Annual WX4NHC On-the-Air Station Test Set for Saturday, May 29, 2021

WX4NHC logoARLX006 Annual WX4NHC On-the-Air Station Test Set for Saturday, May 29

The annual WX4NHC station on-the-air test will be held on Saturday, May 29, 1300 – 2100 UTC. The WX4NHC operators plan to be working remotely again this year as the National Hurricane Center plans to maintain all CDC COVID-19 pandemic protocols until the end of 2021. The yearly exercise takes place just ahead of the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, June 1 – November 30. Assistant WX4NHC Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R, said the event offers an opportunity for radio amateurs worldwide to exercise the sorts of communication capabilities available during severe weather.

“We will be making brief contacts on many frequencies and modes, exchanging signal reports and basic weather data (sunny, rain, temperature, etc.) with any station in any location,” Ripoll said.

Participating stations may use HF, VHF, UHF, APRS, and Winlink, with WX4NHC HF activity centering on the Hurricane Watch Net frequencies of 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz, depending on propagation, and will operate elsewhere as conditions dictate. WX4NHC will also participate in the VoIP Hurricane Net, 2000 – 2100 UTC.

As for the upcoming hurricane season, Ripoll said, “Even if you are not directly affected by a hurricane situation, please volunteer to monitor and relay reports; just one report can make a difference and help save a life!”

In conjunction with the National Hurricane Conference next month, the traditional Amateur Radio Workshop sessions will be held virtually on Tuesday, June 15, 10:30 AM – 12 PM EDT and 1:30 – 5 PM EDT. The sessions will be moderated by Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Director of Operations, VoIP Hurricane Net, with Ripoll.

To access the Zoom meeting check-in, use the meeting ID 844 9788 6921, and the passcode 565708.

Cape Cod & Islands (MA) ARES Exercise, May 8, 2021

District Emergency Coordinator Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O, writes on the Facebook Cape Code & Islands ARES page:

We had a good outing on Saturday for the nationwide Red Cross/Winlink exercise and our complimentary Cape Cod ARES exercise combined with the Eastern MA Section ARES. We used Winlink HF, VHF, NBEMS (HF,VHF), voice 60/75m. We had two field sites and many home stations. It was good to get back outside with our gennies and field gear. The day was a success overall. Soon we will be preparing for our Cape Cod ARES field summer exercise in August which will have multiple field teams and mobiles. My thanks to our field crews in Sandwich and Falmouth (under Henry, K1WCC ADEC). My kudos to our solo field operation in Chatham under field operator Shannon K1WIT. I appreciate all our home stations that participated as well including our section partners. It was tough to get through the day for me, but was worth every minute.

Eastern MA ARES Training, National Red Cross Exercise

EMA ARES logoEastern Massachusetts ARES Members:

During the month of May, we will have numerous ARES training topics as part of a virtual ARES workshop. The first presentation will be Thursday Evening 5/6/21 from 730-900 PM with an introduction of ARES/RACES and SKYWARN and a briefing on the upcoming Eastern Mass ARES exercise Saturday 5/8/21 from 1000 AM-1200 PM coincident with the National Red Cross exercise. Additional sessions will be done throughout the month of May. Complete details, including updates with Zoom details for upcoming workshop topics, can be seen at the following link: <https://ema.arrl.org/2021/05/01/eastern-massachusetts-ares-workshops-via-zoom-during-the-month-of-may-check-here-for-frequent-updates/>

As mentioned above, Eastern Massachusetts ARES will conduct an exercise (Operation Unify) coincident with the National Red Cross exercise on Saturday May 8th, 2021 from 1000 AM-1200 PM and all members who are available can participate. Details including an exercise document can be seen at the following link: <https://ema.arrl.org/2021/05/02/eastern-massachusetts-ares-exercise-operation-unify-coincident-with-national-red-cross-exercise-saturday-may-8th-2021-10-am-12-pm/>

Thanks for your continued support of Eastern Massachusetts ARES!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo, KD1CY
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator

SKYWARN Classes Offered by NWS Grey, Maine, May 3, 2021

SKYWARN logoOn Apr 29, 2021, Steve Goldsmith, W1HS, wrote on the Twin State RC mailing list:

From the National Weather Service in Grey Maine:

Do you want to learn more about severe weather? If so, consider joining us on May 3, 2021 from 6 PM-7:15 PM for a virtual SKYWARN training class so that you can become an official storm spotter. There is no cost and your help could protect lives! To register visit:



CT ARES Statewide Virtual Meeting, April 18, 2021

CT ARES logoConnecticut SEC Mike Walters, W8ZY, writes:

As I have been announcing for the last few weeks this weekend, April 18, there will be no radio nets. Instead we will have a statewide virtual meeting. The meeting will run from 8 till 9 PM […] You do not have to have a camera on this call as I will be presenting. I hope to have a good turnout as we will be talking about a planned statewide drill similar to the SET in conjunction with the Red Cross.

Please plan to attend.

[Contact Mike, W8ZY at w8zy -at- hotmail -dot- com for Microsoft Teams meeting information.]

MARS / Amateur Interoperability Nets Starting The Week of April 7, 2021

MARS logoTo: All New England Amateur Radio Operators

Starting this week, on April 7 and for the first week of every month going forward, US Army Auxiliary Radio System members will conduct nets on 60 meters channel 1 (5.3305 MHz) with the goal of exercising the mission of MARS to Amateur interoperation.

These Nets will start at 8pm local time on April 7, for one hour and will repeat on Friday April 9 and be run by MARS Stations in Region One. On April 8 and 10 at 8pm ET the nets will be run by MARS stations in Region 2 and 4, but also encourage Amateur Radio check ins.

In addition, on Thursday April 8, Friday April 9 and Saturday April 10, nets will be conducted at noon ET, with NCS in New England.

All amateur stations with 60 meter capability and the time are asked to check in and participate in these nets. The goal of these nets is to train MARS stations with Amateur Radio stations on 60 meter channels. Initially, these nets will just involve check ins, but over time, we will practice ICS-213 messages on these nets in both voice and digital methods. The nets will last 1 hour.


Net Time Wednesday April 7 Thursday April 8 Friday April 9 Saturday April 10
Noon local No Net MARS /Amateur Interop Net MARS /Amateur Interop Net MARS /Amateur Interop Net
8pm Local MARS /Amateur Interop Net NCS Region 2 MARS /Amateur Interop Net NCS Region 2


These Nets will repeat in the first week of each month.

If you have questions, please let me know.

Tom Kinahan

U.S. Army Military Auxiliary Radio System
Region One Director

Western MA ARES Seeks Volunteers for Simulated Emergency Test (SET) Exercise, May 2021

WMA ARES logoWestern Massachusetts Section Emergency Coordinator Bob Meneguzzo, K1YO, has announced plans to hold a section-wide Simulated Emergency Test (SET) early in May. Volunteers with HF and VHF capabilities are being sought. 

For full details, see <https://wma.arrl.org/blog/2021/03/13/western-massachusetts-ares-looking-for-help-in-simulated-emergency-test-set-exercises/>.


2021 National Weather Service Boston Virtual SKYWARN Training Sessions Announced

SKYWARN logoDue to COVID-19 concerns, SKYWARN Training classes will again be held virtually in 2021. SKYWARN Training sessions will occur on three weeknights and two weekends in April and May. The weeknight sessions will be taught by NWS forecasters and the weekend sessions taught by Amateur Radio operators.

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