- Where: Eastern Tennessee, southwest Virginia, and far western North Carolina.
- When: Saturday night through Tuesday
- What: Possible flooding rains and gusty winds.
A heads up: SKYWARN™ Recognition Day (SRD) will take place this year on Saturday, December 2 from 0000 until 2400 UTC (starts on the evening of Friday, December 1, in US time zones). During the SKYWARN Special Event, ham radio operators will set up stations at National Weather Service (NWS) offices and contact other radio amateurs around the world.
Participating Amateur Radio stations will exchange a brief description of their current weather with as many NWS-based stations as possible on 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meters plus 70 centimeters. Contacts via repeaters are permitted.
SRD was developed jointly in 1999 by the NWS and ARRL to celebrate the contributions SKYWARN volunteers make to the NWS mission — the protection of life and property. Amateur Radio operators, which comprise a large percentage of SKYWARN volunteers, also provide vital communication between the NWS and emergency managers, if normal communications become inoperative.
The worst-case scenario for the drought mixed with wildfires has occurred, as 50+ MPH high winds in the mountains have fueled a wildfire near the Chimney Tops trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and spread into Gatlinburg ahead of a high-precip system.
Now, the rain may not even be enough to quell the fires that erupted Monday, forcing the entire city of Gatlinburg and parts of Pigeon Forge to evacuate. As of now, officially, 30+ buildings are engulfed, but social media images show much more damage is occurring.
The ominous sign of danger occurred this afternoon as dark skies obscured the Sun in an otherwise clear sky. As the prevailing winds carried the embers from the Chimney Tops along the forest downwind, officials began preparing and evacuating residents from some of the remote areas in the woods. However, the fire jumped the Newfound Gap Road and raged into the southern end of Gatlinburg, threatening the Park Vista Hotel. The winds continued to roar and spread the fire throughout the park, threatening areas such as Ober Gatlinburg and the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Power, telephone, and cell phone services are out in Gatlinburg.
With barely any rain falling in over a month, the ultra dry conditions fueled the wildfire and the wind spread the wildfire into Gatlinburg at sundown.
Emergency crews from around the region are responding to the wildfire with firefighting equipment, traffic and medical aid and shelter assistance.
As of now TEMA officials are requesting that evacuees not use their cell phones except in an emergency as the cellular networks are overburdened, due in part to several cellular towers offline.
It has been an extraordinary 10 days. As of now, 14 deaths have been reported, over 17,000 acres have burned, and 2 juveniles have been arrested in connection with the Chimney Tops 2 Fire that spread into Gatlinburg on November 28.
Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have been closed since the wildfire, and opening on a day-to-day basis for residents and business owners to assess damages to their structures and homes.
Make plans to visit the National Weather Service office in Morristown from Friday, December 2 until Saturday December 3 for SKYWARN Recognition Day!
NWS offices will be active across the country to operate on HF, VHF, UHF, Digital, EchoLink, CW, voice, and much more!
The event runs from 0000z Saturday for 24 hours until 0000z Sunday. In Morristown, that’s 7PM ET Friday to 7PM ET Saturday.
You do not need to be a ham operator to attend.
For more information, visit the NOAA Website for participating stations and details.
Below are some links to use for tracking Hurricane Matthew as it approaches the Florida coastline:
We’ll post more so stay tuned!
Come join the National Weather Service Saturday October 22, 2016 for our first ever open house!* Stop by any time between 10 AM and 2 PM to learn about the NWS, our office, and what we do on a daily basis at the office. There is no cost, admission is free!
Check out booths from TVA, Oak Ridge National Lab, Morristown Police Department, and the City of Morristown Fire Department!
Things to do:
*In the event of severe weather, the open house may need to be cancelled.
**No pets allowed. Service dogs permitted.
***No drugs, weapons, or alcohol of any kind allowed.