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Hurricane center to conduct pre-season radio test

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In preparation for the 2014 hurricane season, the National Hurricane Center's south Florida ham station will conduct a day of on-air testing on May 31.

WX4NHC, located at Florida International University in Miami, will exchange radio reports between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., mostly on the hurricane watch frequency of 14.325 MHz, says assistant station coordinator Julio Ripoll.

The station ham station will make brief contacts on other frequencies, including 3.950 MHz, 7.268 MHz, 21.325 MHz and 28.425 MHz.

The annual station test is not a contest or simulated hurricane exercise, Ripoll said.

"This event is will be good practice for ham radio operators worldwide as well as for NWS staff to become familiar with amateur radio communications available during times of severe weather," he said.

WX4NHC will also be available on south Florida VHF and UHF repeaters , as well as Internet radio links that are accessible by computer.

Hams making contact with the hurricane station are asked to give a brief one-word description of their local weather, such as "cloudy," "clear" or "rainy."

During active hurricanes, the station receives spotter reports from hams in and around the path of storms, to help foresee damage and plan evacuations.

For more information about the National Hurricane Center, a division of NOAA, visit the official website here.

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