Field Day: Have Fun, But… Hey! Let’s Be Careful Out There!

ARRL 2008 Field Day logoAttention all Field Day sites–please be alert to the possibility of severe weather this Field Day weekend, June 28-29, 2008.

We encourage you to take a moment and review this important document on lightning safety outdoors.

Also, we are including the Severe Weather and Amateur Radio Field Day Coordination Message #1, courtesy Rob Macedo, KD1CY below:Hello to all..

..Severe Weather Possible today as the weather pattern gets active once again starting today through early next week. In addition, we have now started the first in a series of weather coordination messages for Amateur Radio Field Day. For Non-Amateurs, a description of Amateur Radio Field Day is in the first paragraph of this coordination message..

..Extent of Thursday Severe Weather Threat will be contingent on area of showers and possibly embedded thunderstorms that will make its way through Southern New England this morning and amount of heating this afternoon into early evening. Damaging winds and large hail would be the primary threats..

..There is a threat of showers and thunderstorms over much of interior Southern New England for the Friday through Sunday timeframe and all thunderstorms will have the threat for heavy rainfall and lightning and the potential for at least isolated to scattered severe thunderstorms as well. It will not be a total washout this weekend and there will likely be some Field Day sites that experience little in the way of weather while others could see one or multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms with the possibility of severe weather..

..All Amateur Radio Field Day sites are strongly encouraged to have a NOAA All-Hazards Alert Radio with them and a Ham Radio monitoring their local Amateur Radio SKYWARN Frequency to be able to monitor the weather as they do their Field Day activities if they do not have Internet access to monitor radar and NWS warnings and statements. Be prepared to take cover even if a “garden-variety” thunderstorm approaches due to the risk of lightning..

..SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Taunton is possible Thursday. Ops at NWS Could also be utilized anytime over Field Day weekend if a threat for severe weather develops. Amateur Radio SKYWARN Coordinators will monitor through the weekend to alert Field Day stations of any risk of thunderstorms in their area..

For the non-Amateur Radio Operators on the email list, Amateur Radio Field Day occurs on the 4th weekend of June every year and is a time where local Amateur Radio Clubs and individual Amateurs across the United States set up Amateur Radio stations across the region and work other Amateurs in a 24 hour contest that practices some radio operator skills, practices setup of Amateur Equipment in the field at various locations for the Amateurs who elect to setup equipment versus operating their home or pre-installed club stations and is an overall fun event that Amateurs enjoy. The field stations put on by Amateur Radio Clubs and other groups allows the public to see Amateur Radio Operators perform their duties in a fun atmosphere. Any non-Amateurs in Eastern Massachusetts and Connecticut that are interested in visiting the various Field Day sites can see a map of the sites that are open to the public via the following links:

At this time, I do not have links to Field Day sites in other parts of the NWS Taunton County Warning Area. Those that have links to their Field Day can pass them along to me and I can add them to the next coordination message. Now, we will focus on weather risks for the first 24-48 hours.

For Thursday’s weather, at 725 AM, Doppler radar showed showers and possibly embedded thunderstorms across Eastern Pennsylvania, South-Central and Eastern New York and into Western Connecticut. This activity will make its way through Southern New England this morning into early afternoon. Skies will clear to some extent after this activity moves through New England. If enough heating and destabilization can occur during the afternoon, there would be the threat for isolated to scattered severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and large hail being the primary threats as there would be sufficient winds aloft and if the destabilization is sufficient, severe thunderstorms would be able to organize into short lines or clusters. If there is not enough heating, the severe threat would be muted.

As we get into Friday, this day should be free of shower and thunderstorm activity but this is contingent on impulses that will rotate around an approaching trough. If this approaches the area sooner, there would be some threat for shower and thunderstorm activity. At this time, Friday, where some Amateur Radio groups may be doing Field Day setup should be a decent day but this will be updated in the next coordination message.

As we get into this weekend, this is where the shower and thunderstorm threat with the safety risks of lightning along with the potential for flash flooding, large hail and damaging winds increases. Exact timeframes and threat regions are tough to determine at this time and will be fine-tuned in future coordination messages but anywhere in interior Southern New England could see activity. Again, Field Day weekend is not expected to be a washout at the present time and there is a definite possibility some Field Day sites may see no significant weather activity while other sites have the potential to be significantly impacted. We strongly encourage all Field Day sites to have a NOAA All-Hazards Alert Radio with them and a Ham Radio monitoring their local Amateur Radio SKYWARN frequency to be able to monitor the weather as they do their Field Day activities. This is particularly important if the site does not have Internet access to monitor radar and NWS Warnings and statements.

Remember even non-severe thunderstorms pose a risk for Field Day stations due to lightning. Take cover even if a non-severe thunderstorm approaches your area.

The next several Severe Weather and Field Day Coordination Messages will be issued as a series of messages through Sunday. The next coordination message will be sent by 1130 PM this evening.

Below is the NWS Taunton Hazardous Weather Outlook:

NWS Taunton Hazardous Weather Outlook:

The following is a link to SKYWARN Frequencies that we will be roving at NWS Taunton and formal SKYWARN Nets established where required. and click on Southern New England SKYWARN Frequency List.

In addition, the New England Gateway/Reflector system will be utilized so those with Internet access or access to an EchoLink/IRLP node via a repeater or other system may also be able to gain access to NWS Taunton when we are active via this means by connecting to IRLP Reflector 9123/EchoLink Node #:9123 which is the *NEW-ENG* conference server.

As has happened in year’s past, Field Day is occurring near the time of the National Weather Service’s Lightning Safety Awareness Week but this year it falls after Field Day weekend. A link to the NWS web site dedicated to the hazards of lightning as well as links to Lightning Safety Awareness Week Statements issued by NWS Taunton is listed below:

In addition, Eastern Massachusetts ARRL has posted some of the safety messages from Field Day from last year to the web and that information can be seen at the following link and will probably be updated with new information from this email. See link below:

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Pager #: (508) 354-3142
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 1-800-445-2588 Ext.: 72929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address:

Leave a Reply