Much of northern Indiana — including all or parts of Whitley, Huntington, Wells and Allen Counties — have a slight risk of severe weather between 8 a.m. EDT Labor Day and 8 a.m. EDT Tuesday, according to the “Day 3 Convective Outlook that the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center issued at 3:05 a.m. EDT.
Any severe storms that form could contain damaging straight-line winds or large hail.
We don’t need a natural disaster to make large sections of the Internet unavailable. The news stories linked below should serve as motivation for ham radio operators to continue practicing their message -handling skills, so they’ll be ready should a served agency need them to fill in for Internet email.
NEW YORK (AP) — Time Warner Cable says a problem that occurred during routine maintenance caused a nationwide outage of its Internet service for hours on Wednesday morning.
The company says it is still investigating the cause of the problem, which occurred with its Internet backbone, the paths that local or regional networks connect to in order to carry data long distances.
Every year, members of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) — the primary national organization of ham radio operators — participate in Simulated Emergency Tests (SET). These events give hams opportunities to practice the skills they’d need in a real emergency, when government agencies and non-governmental organizations might need hams to fill in for non-functioning telephone and Internet systems.
The elected leader of the Indiana section of the ARRL — section manager Joseph Lawrence, K9RFZ — has asked Indiana hams involved in the message-handling arm of ARRL (the National Traffic System, NTS) to support the League’s emergency response arm (the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, ARES) during the SET by transferring messages in a format that’s different from that normally used by the NTS. Specifically, Lawrence wants participants to use the Incident Command System General Message Form ICS-213, which is commonly used by the emergency response agencies that ham radio operators would assist during a real emergency.
Form ICS‑213 is used by incident personnel and dispatchers to record incoming messages that cannot be orally transmitted with accuracy to the intended recipients, according to the outline of one of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s online independent study courses (IS-201, “Forms Used for the Development of the Incident Action Plan”). The ICS-213 is also used by incident command posts and other incident personnel to transmit messages (e.g., resource orders, incident name changes, other ICS coordination issues, etc.) to the incident communications center for transmission via radio or telephone to the addressees. The form is used to send any message or notification to incident personnel who require hard‑copy delivery.
Because ARES commonly interfaces directly with agencies whose staff members are trained to use form ICS-213, many ARES members have developed skill at transmitting and receiving via radio the contents of such forms. Generally speaking, members of NTS have significantly less experience in doing so, but considerable experience in a different message form, the ARRL “radiogram.”
Lawrence’s request that SET participants — including Indiana members of NTS — plan to send and receive messages in the format commonly used by served agencies (Form ICS-213) caused considerable consternation and debate on email discussion groups, particularly a Yahoo group used by Indiana ARES members. Some NTS participants seem to believe that any and all messages that flow through an NTS net — even messages that stay within a section-level net — must be in ARRL radiogram form and that there is no place for form ICS-213 in an NTS net, unless the contents of the form ICS-213 are encapsulated in an ARRL radiogram.
Which leads me (finally) to the point of this article: For the sake of the upcoming SET, the above concerns don’t matter.
As its name implies, an SET is a simulation. Like any other simulation, it provides an excellent opportunity to experiment with new techniques, procedures, etc. Some such experiments might fail, but it’s only a simulation, so it’s a safe time to fail. After a simulation ends, participants can discuss what happened during the simulation, what worked, what didn’t and how operations can improve.
I encourage all Indiana hams, therefore, to participate in the upcoming SET and to use it as an opportunity to experiment with different methods and procedures for handling messages in ICS-213 format.
Try encapsulating one in a radiogram. Try sending one without making it into a radiogram. Try sending them on different modes (including voice and digital).
In short, experiment!
It’s only a simulation, so the worst that can happen is that we all learn something.
Thunderstorms crossing northern Indiana this afternoon might produce localized damaging wind gusts and perhaps marginally severe hail, according to a “Mesoscale Discussion” that the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center issued at1:49 p.m. EDT.
SPC meteorologists plan to monitor trends but at the time they issued the mesoscale discussion, they considered it unlikely that they would issue a watch.
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center (SPC) are keeping their eyes on a possibly growing risk of severe weather in northern Indiana, according to the updated “Day 1 Convective Outlook” the SPC issued at 12:28 p.m. EDT.
A north-northeast- to south-southwest-oriented band of thunderstorms moving through the Chicagoland area as of 12 p.m. EDT exhibited some forward-propagating characteristics with isolated wind damage reported along its track. By afternoon, a subset of these storms will likely merge with a down-shear cluster of slower-moving thunderstorms ongoing over Indiana, according to the 12:28 p.m. outlook.
Daytime heating, coupled with the presence of a very moist boundary layer, will once again yield a strongly unstable air mass ahead of these storm clusters, with mixed-layer convective available potential energy (MLCAPE) approaching 3,500 to 4,500 joules per kilogram. And similar to yesterday, meteorologists expect storm motions to become more southerly with time, as activity is drawn into the backside of a mid-level high pressure system centered over the Ozarks. Vertical wind shear will once again remain weak, which should inhibit severe storm development. But the presence of the strong instability and high moisture content will foster intense water-loaded downdrafts capable of damaging surface winds.
The 12:28 p.m. “Day 1 Convective Outlook” does not indicate any risk of severe weather in this area (or any other part of the country), but meteorologist might upgrade the area to a “slight risk” in the 4 p.m. EDT convective outlook update, if by then it is more apparent that an organized cold pool and associated greater severe threat will materialize.
Meteorologists expect scattered thunderstorms today in northern Indiana, southern Lower Michigan and northwestern Ohio, but they do not anticipate widespread severe weather, according to the “Hazardous Weather Outlook” that the northern Indiana National Weather Service office issued at 5:42 a.m.
Some storms, however, might contain strong, gusty winds, especially those that form this afternoon south of a line from Defiance, Ohio to Winamac, Indiana (below the yellow line in the map above).
URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 476
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
335 PM CDT MON AUG 25 2014
THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF
NORTHERN AND CENTRAL INDIANA
* EFFECTIVE THIS MONDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 335 PM UNTIL
1100 PM CDT.
* PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE...
ISOLATED DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH POSSIBLE
ISOLATED LARGE HAIL EVENTS TO 1 INCH IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE
THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 50
STATUTE MILES EITHER SIDE OF A LINE FROM 35 MILES WEST NORTHWEST
OF MARSEILLES ILLINOIS TO 35 MILES NORTHEAST OF INDIANAPOLIS
INDIANA. FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE
ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU6).
REMEMBER...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE
FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN AND OCCASIONALLY
DO PRODUCE TORNADOES.
. INDIANA COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE
BENTON BOONE CARROLL
CASS CLINTON FOUNTAIN
FULTON GRANT HAMILTON
HANCOCK HENDRICKS HOWARD
HUNTINGTON JASPER KOSCIUSKO
MADISON MARION MARSHALL
MIAMI MONTGOMERY NEWTON
PARKE PULASKI PUTNAM
STARKE TIPPECANOE TIPTON
VERMILLION WABASH WARREN
Isolated instances of damaging straight-line winds and some hail are possible this afternoon across northern Illinois, northern Indiana and possibly portions of southern Lower Michigan, according to a “Mesoscale Discussion” that the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center issued at 2:10 p.m. EDT.
Meteorologists at the time did not anticipate issuing a watch for the area, but they planned to monitor thunderstorm trends this afternoon to determine if a watch will become warranted.