Battening Down the Hatches – Station in Winter Storm Mode 29 - January - 2008Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW Shack.
click on chart for a full sized version of the WX charts first 24 hours of the storm
We have various names for these sorts of winter weather fronts here in Wisconsin – “Saskatchewan Screamer,” “Alberta Clipper” or just “The Storm”
Had plenty of warning, so the tower is down, the longwire antenna secured and we’re ready.
Where were at 45 F (+8c) with calm winds Tuesday at Noon, by sunrise Wednesday Morning our forecast weather is -8 F (-23c) with 30-50 mph (50-90 kph) winds – resulting in a wind chill of below -35 F (about the same at -37c)!!
Looks on track with winds already howling at temperatures dropping about 6 F (3.3c) per hour. Already down to 12F (-11c) as we made a dash to the hardware store and supermarket to deal with errands.
The tower here is rated at 23 SF at 90 mph carrying 1 inch of ice extended. I’ve roughly a 11 SF of wind-loading with my mast and antennas and over built the base to take a bigger tower. No way to tell if the bigger base changed the limitations of the tower without new engineering calculations, but it certainly was easy to do at install and would allow a heavier tower to support a larger array of antennas on the same base.
With the tower lowered the performance calculations are high enough that the house would loose its roofing, windows and siding before the tower should show any damage.
I have the feed lines grounded as we’ve found this dry snow rubbed on the tower and antennas can induce a static charge.
With plenty of extra firewood brought in, the larder well stocked and a very well insulated home (even in this howling weather no significant drafts, cold spots or even noise).
Time to catch up on reading and perhaps get a start on QSL card arrears. That is until early tomorrow when weather regardless it will be off to work.