*November 16th-17th, 2002 Ice Storm SKYWARN Activation Report

Ice Storm SKYWARN Activation Report from November 16th and 17th, 2002

by: Robert Macedo, KD1CY, ARES SKYWARN Coordinator for NWS Taunton


SKYWARN was activated three times over the span of two days as an ice

storm gripped much of the region causing tree and power line damage

and loss of power across portions of Massachusetts and Connecticut.


SKYWARN was activated at 7:30 PM Saturday Evening November 16th based

on a coordination call with Glenn Field, KB1GHX, Warning Coordination

Meteorologist at NWS Taunton. A Winter Storm Warning was posted at

that time for Franklin and Northern Worcester Counties of Massachusetts

and Cheshire and Hillsborough Counties of New Hampshire with a Winter

WX Advisory for the rest of Worcester County, Western Middlesex County,

Hampshire and Hampden counties of Massachusetts and Hartford County of

Connecticut. Activation was requested to determine the where the

rain-freezing rain-snow line was located, amount of radial ice

accretion, snow and rainfall amounts around the region.


The IRLP link was setup from the 448.175 Framingham Repeater to the

147.105 Wilbraham Repeater to allow contact into Western Massachusetts

and Northern Connecticut. Ray Weber, KA1JJM, was on frequency along

with Eric Tuller, N1QKO, who monitored throughout the event despite

a terrible cold and Jim Bernotas, N1VMH. Roger Jeanfaivre, K1PAI,

from CT SKYWARN was also activated during this event to determine

the extent of icing and the rain-freezing rain-snow line in

Connecticut. Also activated was Tom Pratt, N1KKY, covering the

Worcester-Templeton linked repeater system as well as providing

liasion work into Cheshire County NH. SKYWARN nets were also

activated in Northeastern Massachusetts with Bill Ricker,

N1VUX, montioring the 146.64 Waltham Repeater despite suffering a

bad cold of his own, and Mark Roope, W1MAR monitoring the

146.625-Haverhill Repeater. Also, N1WAS, Charles provided weather

observations from the Heavy Hitters Traffic Net on the

Waltham Repeater and observations from the 146.97-Paxton Repeater.


Reports came streaming into NWS Taunton with a rain-freezing rain

line determined to be roughly from Southern Hampden County through

to Central Worcester, Central Middlesex County and cutting through

interior Essex County Massachusetts during the 7:30-9 PM. No

significant radial ice accretion reports were received and snowfall

amounts remained roughly around a Dusting-2" across the region with

the highest amount of snowfall of 3" reported in Savoy, Massachusetts.


After 9 PM, precipitation became heavier and evaporational cooling

from the heavier precipitation resulted in temperature falls across

the region. This changed plain rain in places like Springfield and

across the Southern Worcester County corridor into Freezing Rain

which fell moderately for a time across these areas. Precipitation

reports across Southern New Hampshire remained snow with some snow

and sleet mix in some areas. This resulted in less of an icing issue

across Southern New Hampshire and more issues with icing across

portions of Massachusetts and later into Connecticut as the cooler

temperatures oozed southward across the area. Precipitation remained

all rain from roughly just east of the 128 corridor and about 15 or

20 miles south of the Mass. Pike across Rhode Island and Southeast

Massachusetts based on observations. Reports were all collected from

the SKYWARN repeaters that were active.


Across Connecticut, Roger-K1PAI, reported similiar temperature falls

with Northern and Western parts of Hartford County reporting freezing

rain and temperatures that dipped below freezing. Temperatures hovered

just barely above freezing at Roger's location in Whethersfield, CT

as of the time of their last report. Roger reported that places such

as Morris and Goshen, CT had power outages as icing started to

become significant in Litchfield County CT. Nets were active on the

147.090 Glastonbury and 145.45 Newington CT Repeaters since the

147.000 Soapstone Mountain Repeater was down. Between these power

outage reports and ice accretion reports that were received

between the 11 PM-1 AM timeframe, it became clear that this ice

storm was going to cause damage over parts of the region but the

question was how much damage.


At 10:56 PM via the Paxton Repeater, KB1GNC-Bob reported 3/8" icing

at an elevation of 900 feet and at 10:57 PM, another station in

Worcester, Mass. at an elevation of 1,100 feet reported 1/4-1/3"

radial ice accretion. In North Brookfield at 11:05 PM, 1/4" radial

icing. In Framingham, Mass. at 11:39 PM, 1/4" radial icing was

reported and 1/4" radial icing was reported in Holden, Massachusetts.

Other icing reports included 1/8" radial icing in Monson, West

Springfield and Brimfield, Massachusetts at 11:45 PM and 12:05 AM.

Reports were fielded from the 146.97 Paxton Repeater and the

IRLP link through the efforts of Charlie, N1WAS, and Ray, KA1JJM.


During this timeframe, precipitation changed from Freezing Rain to

sleet in a lot of areas. Tom Pratt, N1KKY, working with N1NNT, Peter

on the Keene, NH Repeater reported that most of the precipitation

falling there was in the form of snow with some sleet. Similiar

reports were received in Franklin County, Massachusetts from Jim

Bernotas, N1VMH via the 146.985-Greenfield Repeater and from

W1MAR-Mark Roope from Southeast NH and Western Essex and

Northeast Middlesex Counties from the 146.625-Haverhill

Repeater. Precipitation started turning to

sleet and even some snow as far south as Springfield by 12:30-1 AM

but this was only temporary as precipitation changed back to

freezing rain. During this timeframe, we transferred the link from

the Framingham Repeater to the 145.39 Scituate, Mass. Repeater. Ops

were then suspended until 7:30 AM Sunday Morning, where the first

light at dawn would reveal how significant any damage might

be in the region. Winter Storm Warnings for icing were expanded

to include the area from I-495 West through the Berkshires of

Massachusetts and Hartford and Tolland Counties of Northern CT.


Ops were reactivated at 7:30 AM with the IRLP link to the Wilbraham

Repeater activated and tied into the Framingham Repeater on 448.175

MHz. At 7:35 AM, Ray Weber, KA1JJM, reported that there were large

branches and wires down in West Springfield due to the icing with

1/4" radial ice accretion at his location. In Granville, Massachusetts,

2/3" radial ice acretion was reported and the entire town was without

power. In Downtown Worcester, Charlie, N1WAS reported 1/4" radial ice

accretion and that report was gathered from the 146.97-Paxton Repeater.

In the town of Southwick, 1/2" radial ice accretion occurred with tree

limbs and wires down and between 25-50% of the town was without power.

In East Longmeadow and Wilbraham Massachusets, 1/4" radial ice

accretion was reported. In Granville, Mass, telephone wires were

down along sections of Route 57 and caused phone outages in Tolland

and Granville, Mass. Reports of 2" of sleet in Greenfield, Mass. and

1" of ice and slush in Lancaster, Mass. were also received. Also

reported from Granby and Hartland CT were 1/2" radial ice accretion

reports and trees and wires down with power outages. Reports also came

in of 1/4" radial ice accretion in Agawamm Mass. and 1/8" radial ice

acretion in the city of Northampton, Mass and in Stafford, CT. All

of these reports were received from the IRLP link with Ray

Weber-KA1JJM, Eric Tuller-N1QKO and Jim Bernotas-N1VMH soliciting

reports via the 146.94 Mount Tom and 146.985-Greenfield Repeaters.


Reports were then relayed from the Western Mass. ARES HF Net with

reports of 1/8" radial ice accretion in Westfield, Northfield,

Shrewsbury and Northboro, Massachusetts. These reports were relayed

by Tom, WA1NVS, on the 146.925/145.37 Worcester-Templeton linked

Repeater system. There was a Western Mass. ARES Net that began on

the 146.97 Paxton Repeater at 9:30 AM by Dennis Zonia, K1VSG,

Western Mass. ARES Section Emergency Coordinator.


Paul-W1GGL reported both on the Western Mass. ARES Net and on the

53.31 6 Meter Mount Wachusett Repeater that there was 1/3"-1/2" radial

ice accretion in Sutton, Mass. with large branches and wires down

a tree down blocking the Central Turnpike in Sutton. 1/2" icing

was reported in parts of Spencer per K1RMS-Jim of Spencer Emergency

Managemner. 1/2" icing was reported in Holden, Mass in the higher

elevations. Reports of 1-1.5" of snow were received in Clinton and

Steling. Mass. 1/4-5/16" icing was reported in Templeton, Mass.

Across Worcester Mass. 1/8-1/2" radial icing was reported depending

on location and elevation in Worcester. In Marlboro, Mass, 1/2"

icing was reported with large branches down. In Shrewsbury, Mass.

at an elevation of 600 feet, Kevin, K1KWP reported 1/3" radial

ice accretion. In Rutlan, Mass, N1RWC-Matt, reported 1/4" icing in

Rutland, Mass. In Westboro, Mass, 1/4-1/2" radial icing with 2-4"

branches down was reported by K1RDD-Doug. In Princeton, Mass, 1/4-1/2"

radial ice accretion was reported with wires down on Estes Road. In

Gardner, Mass. there was 1/4-1/2" icing and large branches down.

In Sterling, mass. 1/4" icing and small branches were down. In

Westminster, Mass. 1/2" icing was reported. In Dudley, Mass, 1/2"

radial ice accretion was reported with multiple large branches and

one whole tree down. All reports came from the 146.97-Paxton Repeater

and a majority of reports came from the Western Mass. ARES Net run

by Dennis-K1VSG. Also, PJ-N1PJ, did a drive through many of the areas

of Princeton, Gardner and Westminster, Mass. and was responsible for

some of these reports. Thanks to PJ, Dennis and all spotters for all

their important reports during this timeframe. Up to 18,000 people

were without power across Massachusetts from the icing.


On the 146.64 Waltham Repeater, Eastern Mass. SEC, Mike Nielsen,

W1MPN, montiored the frequency along with Bill Ricker, N1VUX, and

Mike did a drive through over parts of Northwestern Middlesex County

during the late morning and afternoon hours. At his home in Hudson,

Mike had 1/3" radial ice accretion. In Acton, Mass, 1/4" icing

was seen with 1/2" icing in Stow and Littelton Mass and 1/4" icing

in Ashby Mass. Special thanks to Mike, W1MPN, for doing this ride

through Western Middlesex County Mass. Also, Ron-KA1KCU, reported

1/4" icing and numerous 1-2" branches down with a 5 hour power outage

in Sudbury, Mass.


By 2:00 PM, precipitation was down to drizzle or pockets of freezing

drizzle. Ops were secured but were going to be pending a restart

Sunday Evening as the next round of precipitation was expected to

make its way through the region with possible additional icing.


SKYWARN Ops were reactivated by 7:30 PM across the region as the

next round of precipitation began moving through the region. The

IRLP link was again reactivated and net ops began in earnest. Bernie,

KB1DGY, from CT SKYWARN contacted NWS Taunton and let us know that

in Litchfield County CT, over 100,000 people were without power and

that they activated the CT ARES Emergency Phone net on 3965 KHz which

is on the 75 Meter HF band. We responded by checking into the net,

inquiring information from the net out of Western Hartford County

CT and then assisted with weather logistical information from NWS

Taunton to the net. Contact was made with the CT ARES Net Controls

and also with CT State ARES Section Emergency Coordinator, Allen

Pitts, W1AGP to provide weather info to the affected areas. A report

of trees and wires down from icing in Bristol, CT was obtained

from this net.


Roger Jeanfaivre, K1PAI, liaisoned with NWS Albany during this

operation. Through the IRLP link system, Ray Weber was in contact

with Dana, KB1AEV, who was operating the repeater from the

Torrington CT Repeater by being right at the site. Lightning with

"thundersleet" affected the area per Dana's report and the

thundersleet was tracked on NWS Taunton radar out of the area and

other enhanced areas of precipitation monitored for lightning. The

big concern for the region was that strong winds would occur before

appreciable melting of ice would occur causing more power outages

on Monday. Luckily, this did not happen except for one major

trunk power line that went down on Monday but people were rerouted

successfully with only a short disruption of power. Reports from the

affected area revealed mostly rain with pockets of freezing rain and

sleet so no significant additional icing occurred. This was the

first time HF was used in a SKYWARN Activation and it was tremendously



Across Worcester County Massachusetts, icing still continued in this

area with a large tree down on wires and 1/2" radial icing still

reported in Holden, Massachusetts with a power outage. In Liecester,

Mass, most of the town was without power with large branches up to

1 foot in diameter knocked down from the icing. Reports were obtained

via the 146.97-Paxton Repeater and the 146.925 Repeater. Special thanks

to PJ-N1PJ for doing another ride around town to view damage and icing

reports as well as to the other spotters who checked in on frequency.


Michael Baril, N1PSE, did a tour of the region on Monday and found

icing of 1" in Paxton, Mass and the town there was without power for

3 days. The wind from the next day did complicate matters in Worcester

County with a brief spike in power outages to near the same level that

was seen on Sunday Morning.


The Sunday Evening SKYWARN activation was secured at 11 PM as

widespread significant icing was not expected overnight. SPECIAL

THANKS to all SKYWARN Coordinators, ARES Operators in CT who worked

through the weekend into the early work week, and all SKYWARN Spotters

that gave reports during this event. It was a long duration event

where the most significant impact was felt in higher elevations of

Worcester County, Mass, across Southwest Hampden and Western Hartford

Counties in CT and hardest felt across Litchfield County CT. Luckily,

major metropolitan areas stayed just warm enough to avoid the

significant icing seen in rural towns and th higher elevations or

this event could have been far worse for the region.


Below is the report that Mike Baril put out on this event and a couple

of SKYWARN Net logs received from the Waltham Net:


I've been listening for the past 2 days to Paxton DPW (also Paxton

Light & Power) and they've had just about every tree down in town.?.


I just got back from spending about 3 hours driving through

Paxton, Rutland, Holden.


As I drove North up Rt 122 from Worcester into Paxton, passing the

Worcester Airport entrance on my left, things went from snow on the

ground to heaving icing everywhere.  As I got to the intersection of

Rt 56 & Rt 122, I checked out the icing - about 1/2" of icing.  As

I drove up into the highest elevations in Paxton & Rutland I observed

trees with over 1" of icing.  Mt Asnebumskit summit had about 1.5"

of icing.


Driving through Paxton looks like a war zone - seriously.  I've never

seen it that bad.  There are so many trees down, wires down everywhere,

trees hanging over the road very low; just waiting to break and fall.  It was

Totally amazing to see such ice damage everywhere.


Currently now, the entire town is without power due the 2 large (over

2' in diameter) have fallen and knocked out the feeder wires that

feed the town's distribution point.  They have, I guess declared a

local state of emergency, as they have 15 bucket & tree truck come

in mutual-aid to assist with the major damage.  They contacted MEMA

for these resources.  Mutual-aid is MA Electric's buckets trucks,

Littleton Power & Light, Boylston Light Dept and private tree



Huge trees/wires down areas (Paxton):

* Pleasant St (Rt 122)

* Reservoir Rd (Rt 56)

* Birchwood Rd

* Maple St

* Holden Rd (Rt 31)

* Major tree/wire damage on West St (Rt 31)

* Indian Hill Rd

* Marshall St

* Asnebumskit Rd



They have their Paxton Center School opened up right now as town

shelter for those who can't stay at home w/ no power.  Fire, police

and DPW have been patrolling the streets since yesterday morning and

haven't stopped.


Well, hope this helps..  Just thought I'd share my thoughts &



Mike Baril  N1PSE

Central MA Public Safety

Uxbridge, MA


Waltham SKYWARN Net Report:


64  KD1CY/WX1BOX already on 64

11/16/2 7:59PM ka1kcu 30F 1/4" frz snow n.sudbury, lt.r atm

11/16/2 8:00PM n1vux mid dorcester lt.r

11/16/2 8:01PM kc1fc hingham 40.3F 0.2" in guage, heavy misting,

      wind NE. est 15-20

11/16/2 8:03PM kb1fba w.rox 39F lt.r

11/16/2 8:03PM ka1kcu lt.ZR now on cleared surface . N.Sudbury.

      no radial yet, but starting.

11/16/2 8:09PM [NWS copied]

11/16/2 8:09PM -> 23/EM2MN

11/16/2 8:12PM n1lrt R @ Boston Charles R Park; Phone. Newbp/Glos

      R also.

11/16/2 8:13PM wa1zkh so boston lt.ZR

11/16/2 8:14PM w1hai ZR natick 33F

11/16/2 8:14PM n1vsj littleton 29F IP 0.5" on ground

11/16/2 8:17PM n1adf medford lt.R 33F

11/16/2 8:17PM kb1hki stoughton 37F mixed R

11/16/2 8:25PM


11/16/2 8:25PM -> 64

11/16/2 8:25PM @8:05ish k1kec/m haystack obs

      @Groton/Westford/Tyngsboro; 0.5" on grass; 0.05mm/hr,

      24G7; -3C -4Cdp. S/R mix.

11/16/2 8:30PM passed.

11/16/2 8:30PM corr 0.05mm/h k1kec


11/16/2 8:35PM broken id

11/16/2 8:37PM ka8scp linked. westford. just N of Haystack. 29.7F N.

      Mixed ZR/IP 0.75" S on gr. passed


11/16/2 8:41PM ka8scp R.Guage froze.

11/16/2 8:42PM kb1fba w.rox. unchanged -- still reading 39F,

      up 0.5F, still lt R.

11/16/2 8:44PM kb1fqg maynard ??mixed/switching IP/ZR, mooshy

      coating on roads. 0.25-0.5 mix on grass.


read stmts

11/16/2 8:52PM k1kec/m  brookline NH (Hillsbo/nr Pepperell/Townsend)

      -- ZR atm, 0.75" on grass. N.

11/16/2 8:55PM passed


11/16/2 8:55PM n1xji tewksbury Rain or IP ... heard IP at 7pm. 

      can't tell P-type well.

11/16/2 8:57PM kb1ibg R; 44F. somerville.

11/16/2 8:58PM

11/16/2 8:58PM n1hwa Danvers R 38.3F up (low 34F S/R at 3pm)

11/16/2 9:00PM ka1kcu N.Sudbury 30F R some ZR lt cting tree br.

11/16/2 9:10PM passed


11/16/2 9:10PM n1fcr waltham lt.R incr? 32F .

11/16/2 9:19PM Spotter line says 0.75 ice in Billerica. Refute?


11/16/2 10:00PM Updated statement from NWS ...


11/16/2 10:04PM k1qz/m 35F mobile , R waltham 128 (Steve)

11/16/2 10:06PM kb1fba w.rox; R Lt/Mod. up 40.6F.

11/16/2 10:07PM n1fcr  R 33F up S.Waltham by river

11/16/2 10:08PM k1qz Rt2 W. 32F dropping heading west

11/16/2 10:09PM kb1ibg  R sommerville. 45Fup  (?)

11/16/2 10:09PM n1xji Lt.R might be icing ,tewks hosp

11/16/2 10:10PM w1gmf 43.7F R Abington


11/16/2 10:23PM passed

11/16/2 10:23PM k1qz/m rt2 not quite 495 IP+ZR. RT2@27.  31F Steady.

will switch to Templteton past 495, enroute Gardner.

11/16/2 10:26PM passed


11/16/2 10:27PM passed NCS to KD1CY & QRT N1VUX


11/17/2 11:05AM sudbury ka1kcu 0.125" ice on branches. 2" branches down,

      numerous. power out 3am - 8am wind is knocking ice off.

      Monitored, never got more than 1/8, decreasing?

11/17/2 11:06AM kb1bg Q.


11/17/2 11:29AM k1oiq/m 35 road, 39 side of vehcile 

      wet roads. Rt 2 x41 Entering Boxboro. Came down from Nashu.

11/17/2 11:31AM n1vsj/m Rt2 Acton 35F 1/8" radial icing. R. back roads

      slush. did drivearound littleton, only ver minor street

      flooding, no damage.

11/17/2 11:42AM Read latest WSW Message.


11/17/2 11:45AM WC1A/m dreary and r. trains.

11/17/2 11:57AM wa1gep/m ht boston. trains.

11/17/2 12:03PM ka1kcu sudbury found some 1" branches with 1/4"

      ice remaining, that had fallen from height. 0:10 ago. passed


Respectfully Submitted,


Robert Macedo (KD1CY)

ARES SKYWARN Coordinator

SEMCARES Emergency Coordinator

Pager #: (508) 354-3142

Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)

Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503  (After 6 PM)

Work Phone #: 1-800-445-2588 Ext.: 72929  (8 AM-5 PM)

Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com




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