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Hurricanes Madeline and Lester - August 29, 2016+

Amateur radio operators throughout Hawaii responds to back-to-back Hurricanes Madeline and Lester that arrives in Hawaiian waters on Tuesday August 30, 2016 and Saturday September 3, 2016. This page provides progress information on the event. It is updated infrequently, so check the latest advisories from the National Weather Services and Emergency Management agencies. Last update is Saturday September 4, 8:00 am

Activities are chronicled here. It's not a question of "If", it's a question of "When".

Enjoy, and feel free to drop me an e-mail if you have any questions.


Early storm track forecasts for Hurricane Lester had the track approaching close to the northern shores of the Hawaiian islands.

JTWC TS 13 2016 Forecast 22

JTWC TS 13 2016 Forecast 24

JTWC TS 13 2016 Forecast 30

JTWC TS 13 2016 Forecast 34

JTWC TS 13 2016 Forecast 36

JTWC TS 13 2016 Forecast 40



JTWC TS 13 2016 Forecast 44


Hurricane Lester approached from the east, and continued north of the Hawaiian Islands. On Thursday, September 1, 2016 all islands except for Kauai were under hurricane watch.

On Saturday, Sept 3, Lester passed north of Maui, Honolulu and Kauai counties. Hurricane watch for Maui and Oahu counties were cancelled at 5:00 am. Lester was downgraded to Tropical Storm status on the 11:00 pm advisory. Maximum sustained winds were 75 MPH. Minimum central pressure was 991 mb, or 29.27 inches. Heavy surf was expected, and heavy rains are expected to follow TS Lester.

Early storm track forecasts for Hurricane Madeline had the track approaching close to the southern shores of the Big Island.

JTWC TS 14 2016 Forecast 14

JTWC TS 14 2016 Forecast 23

JTWC TS 14 2016 Forecast 29

JTWC TS 14 2016 Forecast 31

Hurricane Madeline approached the Big Island, then veered south. Extensive rainfall and flooding were reported.

Hurricanes Lester and Madeline information

Information on Hurricanes Lester and Madeline and personal preparations can be found at these links:


A reminder: Being prepared is a personal responsibility. Stock up ahead of time, and don't get caught in the mad rush to the store to buy stuff. The National Weather Service offers a list of items for preparedness and planning.

A reminder for the general population (and amateur radio operators alike) that the primary means of timely notification of an alert is via the NOAA National Weather Service Weather Alert radios.

Amateur Radio

The amateur radio leadership of NWS SKYWARN and Hawaii (State) Emergency Management Agency RACES and DEM (Department of Emergency Management) RACES coordinated a joint net on the state-wide VHF Repeater system for passing storm information to the National Weather Service Honolulu Forecast office at HIG Building, University of Hawaii at Manoa campus, with supplemental traffic for SCD and DEM. The repeaters of DEM RACES (Oahu County) and SCD were linked using ALL-STAR VOIP linking to create a eight node repeater cluster of both State-wide and around-the-island repeaters for Oahu for reporting and monitoring purposes.

Coordination is via the DMR Hawaii group of repeaters.

Tue Aug 30

ARRL Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) Clem Jung issues an information update.

Tue Aug 30

Hawaii Island CERT teams (and amateur radio operators) were activated at 11:00 am for Hurricane Madeline.

Tue Aug 30

ARRL issues an informational bulletin.

Tue Aug 30

ARRL issues an article.

Wed Aug 31

ARRL issues an article.

Wed Aug 31

Hawaii EMA RACES prepares for operations on Saturday, September 3.

Thu Sep 01

SKYWARS deactivated at 7:35 am. Operators participating as Net Operators were: Jack (KH6DQ) State Deputy SKYWARN Ham Coordinator, Chuck (KH6DL), Ophemia (KH6OH), Carter (KH6FV), Jeff (AH6IX), Mark (AH6PR), Rick (KH6OM), Raleigh (KH6EN), Tiff (AH6S), Bart (KH7C), Darrell (KH6XL). A thank you to the various SKYWARN County Ham Coordinators, their deputies and to the SKYWARN weather spotters out there. And, a big thank you to Chris Benchley and Tom Evans of the NWS Honolulu Forecast Office for their fantastic support to SKYWARN.

Thu Sep 01

ARRL issues an informational bulletin.

Thu Sep 01

All Hawaiian Islands except for Kauai was under a Hurricane Watch. For Oahu, it is the first hurricane watch issued since Hurricane Iwa in November 1982.

Fri Sep 02 5:00 am

NWS CPHC discontinues hurricane watch for the Big Island.

Fri Sep 02

Anticipated activation of DEM EOC in the afternoon.

Fri Sep 02

Anticipated start of SKYWARN operations for Hurricane Lester. Operations from Saturday through Sunday, September 4 at 2 pm.

Fri Sep 02 2:11 pm

Big Island ARES standing down due to Hurricane Lester no longer threatening the Big Island.

Fri Sep 02 5:30 pm

HI EMA RACES not anticipating activation due to diminishing conditions.

Fri Sep 02 7:25 pm

DEM RACES to check into the SKYWARN net at 8:00 am.

Sat Sep 03 1:18 am

SKYWARN to activate from 1:00 pm through 9:00 am Sunday

Sat Sep 03 5:00 am

NWS cancels hurricane watch for Maui and Oahu.

Sat Sep 03 11:14 am

NWS cancels SKYWARN amateur radio activation. Lester continues wearing and has just been downgraded to 85 MPH (still a Category 1 hurricane). Dangerous sure is still expected across the Hawaiian Islands through this weekend.

Sun Sep 04 07:30 am

Winds and rains are calm, however, NWS forecasts heavy rains to trail behind TS Lester. Star-Advertiser article

ARRL Section Emergency Coordinator

On Tuesday, August 30, SEC Clem Jung KH7HO released an information update.

Hurricane Madeline SKYWARN Activation
Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:03 am (PDT) . Posted by: "Clement Jung" chmjung4
To All,
As of Tuesday, August 30, at 4:42 a.m. HST, Hurricane Madeline became a category 3 with maximum sustained winds of 120 MPH. The present movement is 280W at 9 MPH. Hurricane Madeline was located near latitude 19.3 North, longitude 148.3 West. It is approximately 433 miles from Hilo. The present track will bring it to south of the Big Island. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Big Island. A Flash Flood Watch for the Big Island for Wednesday through Thursday night. Deep moisture associated with Hurricane Madeline is expected to impact the Big Island beginning Wednesday morning, bringing the threat for heavy rainfall and flooding through Thursday night. Additional islands may need to be added to the Flash Flood Watch depending on the track of the hurricane.

The National Weather Service (NWS) will activate SKYWARN for Hurricane Madeline effective Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at 12 noon until Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 10 p.m. HST. This net is open to all licensed amateur radio operators, whether you are a trained SKYWARN weather spotter, RACES, ARES, HealthComm member. For registered SKYWARN weather spotters, you can also call in any significant weather reports via the 1 (800) phone number. If you have a SKYWARN number, please give it to the NCS and when you phone your significant weather reports.

KH6SW will operate from the NWS Honolulu Forecast Office on the following repeaters/frequencies: On Oahu on the following VHF/UHF State RACES, DEM RACES and EARC linked repeaters:- 146.660 (EARC - Windward Oahu)- 146.760 (DEM RACES - Peackcock Flat, N. Shore Oahu)- 146.800 (EARC - Manakapu, Oahu)- 146.880 (DEM RACES - Diamond Head)- 146.980 (DEM RACES - Downtown Honolulu)- 147.060 (State RACES - Diamond Head)- 444.350 (State RACES - Diamond Head)

444.325 (State RACES - Waimanalo is down). Also the State RACES interisland link is also down. Neighbor island will primarily be HF.

HF: Primary 7.080 USB; secondary 3.888 LSB We will be on voice and Fldigi MT63-1KL. Please listen to the SKYWARN NCS as to instructions and what weather reports are requested. If you have a significant weather to report, give your callsign, your name, what you are reporting, the location of the significant weather event and the time it occurred. Significant weather reports may be: heavy flooding (how many inches), heavy rains (inches/hour), road closures due to road flooding/landslides or storm surges, hail (any size), funnel clouds, strong winds - in MPH, etc. For this SKYWARN activation, normal weather reports will not be accepted, i.e., it is sunny, no cloud, no winds, normal temperature, etc. Only significant weather reports will be accepted by radio and by the 1 (800) phone number.

Remember your safety is primary. Do not go out into the storm to get a report. Safety, safety, safety comes first.

Request widest distribution of this e-mail to as many Hams, Ham nets, etc. as possible.

We will also have another SKYWARN activation for Hurricane Lester. Tentatively, to begin on Friday, September 2, 2016 at 10 p.m., until Monday, September 5, 2016, 12 noon.

If you haven't yet, please charge your batteries and test out your Ham gear. Make sure you have a minimum of seven days of food and water, a family emergency plan and a communications plan. Make plans for your pets. Also filled up gas in your cars and generators. Test out your battery operated radio and have spare batteries. Be informed by listening to your radio and TV for the latest information on the hurricanes and possible hurricane evacuation shelters which will be open near you. Bring your Ham radio if you need to evacuate to a shelter.

Clem Jung (KH7HO)Hawaii State SKYWARN Ham CoordinatorARES Section Emergency Coordinator

On Saturday, September 3, SEC Clem Jung KH7HO released an revised schedule for SKYWARD activation for Lester.

Revised SKYWARN Activation for Hurricane Lester
Sat Sep 3, 2016 1:18 am (PDT) . Posted by: "Clement Jung"
To All,

Please note the SKYWARN Activation for Hurricane Lester has been modified. Due to Hurricane Lester moving more north, the SKYWARN activation will now be from 1 p.m. Saturday, September 3, 2016 to 9 a.m. Sunday, September 4, 2016. The activation may again be modified depending on the movement of Lester.

We will continue to use the State and DEM VHF/UHF linked repeaters on Oahu and the HF 7.080 USB for both voice and Fldigi MT63-1KL digital weather messages.

There is concern of high surf affecting the east coastlines of all islands. Request widest distribution on this change of the SKYWARN activation for Hurricane Lester.

Clem Jung (KH7HO)
Hawaii State SKYWARN Ham Coordinator
Pacific Section Emergency Coordinator

Hawaii State Emergency Management Agency

HI EMA RACES operations is TBD .

The repeaters linked from Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (EMA)

  • 147.02+ PL 103.5, Mt Haleakala, Maui 9,769 ft, currently standalone
  • 147.04+ no PL, Mauna Loa, Big Island 8,200 ft, currently standalone
  • 147.04+ PL 103.5, Lihue, Kauai, currently standalone
  • 147.06+ PL 103.5, Diamond Head, Oahu
  • 444.325+ PL 103.5, Waimanalo, Oahu (Down for this event)
  • 444.350+ PL 103.5, Diamond Head, Oahu

and Department of Emergency Management, Oahu County

  • 146.76- no PL, Mokuleia, Oahu
  • 146.66- PL 88.5, Kailua, Oahu (EARC)
  • 146.80- PL 88.5, Mauna Kapu, Oahu (EARC)
  • 146.88- PL 88.5, Diamond Head, Oahu
  • 146.98- PL 88.5, Frank Fasi Municipal Building, Oahu

Interruptions with HF operations scheduled for:

  • 3888 kHz LSB, Hawaii County
  • 3993.5 kHz LSB, Hawaii EMA RACES
  • 5330.5 kHz USB, Hawaii EMA RACES
  • 7080 kHz USB, SKYWARN (Monitor this frequency first)
  • 7088 kHz LSB, Hawaii EMA RACES
  • 7095 kHz LSB, Hawaii County
  • 7178 kHz LSB, Hawaii EMA RACES alternate
  • 7195 kHZ LSB, Hawaii County
  • TBD, American Red Cross
  • TBD, Healthcomm

Department of Emergency Management RACES

On Saturday, September 3 DEM RACES Coordinator Chuck Oh N6NCT released a coordination update.

DEM RACES on Ready Standby 8am September 3, 2916 Saturday
Fri Sep 2, 2016 10:25 pm (PDT) . Posted by: "Chuck Oh"

Harold requested a small RACES contingent be present at the DEM tomorrow, September 3, 2016, 8a to check into the Sky Warn net officially representing DEM and be ready to execute a deployment should hurricane Lester threaten Oahu with greater certainty than present.

In light of our previously expressed need for an off site DEM net control, Raleigh Ferdin KH6EN has accepted this position given his demonstrated proficiency at net control connected with the Emergency Amateur Radio Club, readiness for an communication effective sustained operation and resources to meet the established two person health and welfare rule for RACES deployments.

Should a DEM net be formally established, all communications on the DEM Network shall be directed by and go through Raleigh who will move traffic to the appropriate indicated party. Please give Raleigh all due respect for this challenging position that will arise should we be activated.

Should repeaters be unavailable Raleigh will maintain net discipline in simplex mode 146.58 mHz no PL.

Ralph, Linda, Elsie and her daughters will initially represent RACES on Saturday. Should a long term deployment be ordered, we will immediately request additional volunteers to augment our stand by team.

Thanks to all who are serving multiple government and non government agencies and working together to build and sustain a safe island community.

Please feel free to call for questions.

Warmest Regards,
Find out more by contacting:  rhashiro(remove this part)@hawaiiantel.net
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September 02, 2016. Updated: September 04, 2016

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