We had some really nasty weather yesterday to the west of us in the Richmond, Virginia area … thunderstorms, rain, wind, a couple of tornadoes with property damage, and even a life lost when a roof collapsed. In Virginia Beach, some areas flooded so badly from the tides that the occupants of cars had to be rescued from the waters.
Once again, we have been lucky here on the Peninsula. Even the remnants of Florence, on their way north, seem to create havoc in their wake. Too close for comfort!
The bands suck … right? If you look at the solar conditions, they’re no good, right? Can’t hear anybody, right? Behold …
Those flags represent the stations I heard on FT8, 80 through 17 meters, this evening. Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, loads of Europeans, Australia, Oman … what more do you want? Could I work them all? Unfortunately, no. But I worked a bunch … twenty-one of them. With a better antenna … you never know. But they’re THERE … and they’re WORKABLE … by SOMEONE! Might be you! The right time and the right place!
Turn the radio on … don’t sit and complain. They’re there! They’re waiting!
Well, Florence has come and has gone, even though we’re still experiencing rain and thunderstorms from the system . There wasn’t much impact here, where I live. The forecasts were dire and uncertain, but at my QTH we ended up with not much rain and not much wind. In some lower-lying parts of the area, there was flooding and trees down. Lots of businesses were closed … MacDonalds and Wendys were the two I noticed … in anticipation of much more severe weather that really never came to pass. My daughter, who is practice teaching in the Chesapeake school system, had an unscheduled week off when they decided to close the schools as a precautionary measure.
However, a glance to our south … and not that far south … shows what it could have been like. The Carolinas were, and still are, devastated. Destruction, chaos, roads impassible or just gone … those people need our prayers and our aid. It will be a long time before things get back to normal there.
There have been some comments about how we went through all this expensive preparation for nothing. My answer is look to out south … to what could have been. Predicting the weather is not an exact science and it’s better to be ready than to be caught unprepared. We were as ready as we could be, and that’s OK with me.
It looks like we may have dodged the bullet here in the Virginia Peninsula area. We still can expect tidal flooding and wind and rain, but nothing like what had been forecast as a possible scenario. Unfortunately, that’ll be visited on our friends to the south. More like a normal (?) rain/wind event for us. Judging by what they’re predicting now, some of our bad winter storms have been worse.
It’s never a bad idea to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, though. If you don’t get ready and things go sour, you’re stuck with what you’ve got. I did all the “due diligence” … food, water, batteries, gas, and so forth. I always try to go a bit beyond the minimums, since I’m not usually at home with the family during these events, but at work looking after radio systems. I hate to not be there with them, but it’s one of the drawbacks of the job.