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Thread: Storm reports

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    Storm reports

    Got the drecho through here in Iowa City, about 90MPH winds. Powers out through a bunch of town, up in other areas. (There's a parallel thread in AT&T forum here. I got the idea to try using 3G as a temporary workaround there

    I'm over 22GB and so deprioritized; it's pretty bad, right around dialup speed. VZW here has about 10 or 12 cell sites that've been up since like the 1980s, I think these all have generators on them. Within the last year or so put out these microcells every 2 or 3 blocks, the only one I've managed to spot was pretty small, no room for a generator and if it has battery backup it's pretty small. I assume areas here without power probably have had the microcells go out, so the main sites and adjacent microcells (in areas that have power) are all nice and overloaded. Plus I'm sure probably loads of people's Mediacom (cable) and CenturyLink (DSL) are out, so if they have power they'll be using their hotspots like crazy.

    Switch to 3G and I'm getting about 10x the speed, close to 1mbps... I would have assumed by now 3g and 1x would be down to 1 channel, there really must not be that many devices on it any more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwertz View Post
    Got the drecho through here in Iowa City, about 90MPH winds. Powers out through a bunch of town, up in other areas. (There's a parallel thread in AT&T forum here. I got the idea to try using 3G as a temporary workaround there

    I'm over 22GB and so deprioritized; it's pretty bad, right around dialup speed. VZW here has about 10 or 12 cell sites that've been up since like the 1980s, I think these all have generators on them. Within the last year or so put out these microcells every 2 or 3 blocks, the only one I've managed to spot was pretty small, no room for a generator and if it has battery backup it's pretty small. I assume areas here without power probably have had the microcells go out, so the main sites and adjacent microcells (in areas that have power) are all nice and overloaded. Plus I'm sure probably loads of people's Mediacom (cable) and CenturyLink (DSL) are out, so if they have power they'll be using their hotspots like crazy.

    Switch to 3G and I'm getting about 10x the speed, close to 1mbps... I would have assumed by now 3g and 1x would be down to 1 channel, there really must not be that many devices on it any more.

    This from the Chicago NWS on the derecho path.

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    Yeah, that’s definitely a limitation of the distributed small cell approach. Regardless of carrier, I doubt small cells will ever have much/any power protection.

    But, theoretical, most? small cells are in more urban settings where power is often below ground and more? reliable / less subject to storm damage.

    Theoretically folks can fail back to the Macro, and with more, distributed micros, outage impacts should effect less people when they do occur.


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    Quote Originally Posted by JSchnee21 View Post
    But, theoretical, most? small cells are in more urban settings where power is often below ground and more? reliable / less subject to storm damage.

    Theoretically folks can fail back to the Macro, and with more, distributed micros, outage impacts should effect less people when they do occur.
    We do have unusual amounts of above-ground lines here; despite that, usually when there's storm damage it's just not quite as widespread. Last night (according to SignalCheck Lite) I was hitting a site over 2.5 miles away (and network signal info lite mapped it being up near the interstate), usually there's 1 or 2 macro (and a good 6 or 8 micro) sites between me and there; this morning it said it was hitting a site 5 miles away, no data service to pull up a map. (My DSL was up last night but dead in the morning.) Fast busies on calls (it was actually trying to make a 4G call, fail, then fall back to 1x and try to make a 1x call, then give a fast busy.) By about noon some of the sites seemed to be coming back up (and power's starting to come up around town too.)

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    Last night, more and more sites went offline, I guess those microcells do have battery backups. I switched my phone back from "3G only" to the normal mode. When I went to bed, the phone said it was using some site about 2 miles away, up by I80 (Network Cell Info Lite shows where you and the site are on a map); usually there's 1 or 2 large sites and 6-8 microcells between me and there. (The phone had no usable data, my DSL at home was up so it was getting the maps and junk over wifi). No data, and phone calls went to fast busies. This morning, the signal status app said I was connected to a site *5* miles away (SignalCheck Lite gives an estimated distance from LTE timing advance), but my DSL was also down so no way to check location. Phone was switching back and forth between 4G and 3G every so often, neither worked; if I made a call it'd either give a fast busy, or have a huge pause on 4G, then switch to 1x, then have a fast busy on 1x. Things began to be vaguely usable around noon, although my mom was commenting on getting fast busies and all circuits are busy trying to make calls still this evening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwertz View Post
    Got the drecho through here in Iowa City, about 90MPH winds. Powers out through a bunch of town, up in other areas.
    Funny, I never heard of a derecho while living a number of years in the Chicago and Minneapolis areas. Tornados and big hail were the common threat in MN.

    In the big power outages in NorCal last year because of wildfires, my Verizon service never went down. The macro sites must have had generator power, as the outages were 2-3 days long. I was able to hotspot with slow but adequate speed. Think I measured it at 600 Kbps. Not sure if my AT&T DSL was down, having no power for the modem and router. I do have a generator now!

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    Here is more info about the Monday derecho.

    https://www.weather.gov/lot/2020aug10

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    Verizon has been holding up well here in New Jersey. I spoke to a few friends in New York City and New Jersey and they all pointed out they hadn’t experienced any issues during the Isaias storm and after. There’s also a Reddit thread about it https://www.reddit.com/r/verizon/com..._union_county/

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    Funny, I never heard of a derecho while living a number of years in the Chicago and Minneapolis areas. Tornados and big hail were the common threat in MN.
    Wow, didn't realize Derechos were so common. I only remember one here a few years back that killed 22 people.


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    Storm reports

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Rules View Post
    Wow, didn't realize Derechos were so common. I only remember one here a few years back that killed 22 people.


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    What’s really scary with this one is I had checked the NWS convective outlook maps for Monday on Sunday before bedtime. Nothing notable shown. At 11:30 the next day the weather alert receiver was blaring. I thought it might have been a test being a Monday. It wasn’t, and they called it a “particularly dangerous situation” with 90+ mph widescale winds and a “tornado or two”. All happened so quickly. A surprise package!

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    Well, they are relatively common. But (from national weather service's D), "By definition, a derecho must include wind gusts of at least 58 mph (50 knots or 93 km/h) or greater along most of its length" and "A derecho wind damage swath must extend more than 250 miles (about 400 kilometers). This criterion is used to eliminate more common, shorter-lived, and generally less-organized wind-producing convective systems."

    So, they're common, but for example a previous derecho that came through here had like 45-50MPH winds with maybe 60MPH gusts (it did about 60MPH sustained along the windier parts.) Ones that do like 80-100MPH+ like that are relatively uncommon.

    They're rather unpredictable; one type just forms along a cold front, so if the usual line of storms along the cold front get strong enough it's a derecho. But the other type is more or less some random "popcorn showers" that just happen to merge into a nice storm front as they strengthen and go along for 100s of miles, rather than moving along as individual storms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwertz View Post
    Got the drecho through here in Iowa City, about 90MPH winds. Powers out through a bunch of town, up in other areas. (There's a parallel thread in AT&T forum here.
    And one for T-Mobile. https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...-Power-Outages

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    Storm reports

    These are newly posted maps on NWS Chicago site showing the many tornado paths associated with Aug 10 derecho.

    Click on the Tornadoes tab to view the spatial data.

    https://www.weather.gov/lot/2020aug10
    Last edited by kingc; 08-15-2020 at 12:35 PM.

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    A new map from the NWS on the Aug 10 derecho wind speed. 140 mph near Cedar Rapids.


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    Quote Originally Posted by hwertz View Post
    ...Switch to 3G and I'm getting about 10x the speed, close to 1mbps... I would have assumed by now 3g and 1x would be down to 1 channel, there really must not be that many devices on it any more.
    You are probably the only one in the area who knew about switching to 3G so you had it all to yourself.

    We had a derecho tear through here ~2013. It was bad. Electric was out for several days. It got to nearly 100F in the house. I had Truphone service at the time with data at $90/GB. SWMBO urgently needed to do an email. I tethered the phone and got it done so AT&T must have been up. That would have been 3G as the phone did not have LTE. We also drove to the library parking lot to use their WiFi. We were not the only ones who thought of that.

    HSPA+ 3G data isn't bad at a few Mbps. That will only be an option for a year or so before they all shut it down.

    I am a lot better prepared now with unlimited AT&T and Verizon hotspots - and a better battery fan.

    The biggest problem was that as the refrigerator thawed it started dripping onto the floor just 2 inches from the adjoining hardwood floor. I had to stay home and keep up with sopping that up to keep the hardwood floor from being destroyed.

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