Saturday, March 08, 2008

Clipperton and weather

I don't normally post what I would consider "DX news" in this blog, but I thought I'd make an exception. One of the most wanted DXCC Entities is Clipperton Island, and there's a DXpedition underway this week. From what I've read, they've landed on the island, and actually were a bit ahead of schedule, but some folks were wondering why they haven't come on the air yet. I'm no expert, but it certainly looks like the weather is a big issue. Keep in mind that these guys are operating from tents , and, from what I read on their website, had not yet completed setting up their stations when heard from last.

This satellite loop image won't really do much good after a few days of me writing this, but if you look at it soon after posting, you'll see what the problem is. I've included a static image here
for posterity (you might want to click on it to enlarge), which isn't nearly as impressive as the loop. Click on the LatLon box, and locate 10 degrees north, and 109 degrees west. There's a big set of thunderstorms that's apparently been pounding the island. It's rainy here in NJ, but then again I'm sitting in a permanent structure with plenty of hills to break up the straight-line winds. For what it's worth here's the forecast for Clipperton, which doesn't look great either, though it does seem to get better after a few days.

As much as I'd love to work them for an all-time new entity, I sincerely hope that they are doing whatever they need to do to be safe.

And while I'm posting: I'll step up on the soapbox briefly to say that some of the comments that have shown up on the clusters are just plain rude. Essentially, people are complaining that this group of people, who are literally putting their lives on the line for the enjoyment of the DX community haven't shown up on the air exactly on time. Give 'em a break! As others have said: If you think you can do a better job, then stop complaining, spend a few hundred thousand dollars, and go there yourself.

Here's hoping that TX5C is safe.

UPDATE: Just after I posted this, an update (look for the March 8 entry) was posted on the TX5C webpage. In short, it appears that heat, not thunderstorms is the problem. In fact, it looks like the cloud cover is in fact helping, not causing problems.

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