NOUS41 KWBC 281847



Public Information Statement, Comments Requested

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington, DC

145 PM EST Fri Feb 28 2014


To:       Subscribers:

          -Family of Services

          -NOAA Weather Wire Service

          -Emergency Managers Weather Information Network


          Other NWS Partners, Users and Employees


From:     Mark Tew

          Chief, Marine and Coastal Weather Services Branch


Subject:  Extending the Comment Period for the Beach Hazards

          Statement Through December 31, 2014


NWS has extended the comment period on its experimental Beach

Hazards Statement through December 31, 2014. The current test

offices (Table 1) will continue to test the Beach Hazards

Statement using the two options (described below) from 2013.

Tables 2 and 3 indicate which option offices are testing. For

information on last year’s test, refer to Service Change Notice



The Beach Hazard Statement provides beachgoers and local

authorities with significant information related to hazards,

actual or potential, which do not meet NWS Advisory or Warning

criteria.  This includes, but are not limited to:


- Dangerous currents in the surf zone

- Unusual surf/wave conditions not meeting advisory criteria

- Unusual water temperatures

- Unusual weather conditions along the beach that do not meet

  advisory criteria


Rip Current Statements inform beachgoers of the potential and

risk level for rip currents.


Coastal Flood Statements inform beachgoers about minor flooding

along the coast that does not meet advisory criteria.


Option 1:  Use Valid Time Event Code (VTEC) BH.S instead of all

of the following VTEC codes: CF.S (Coastal Flood Statement), LS.S

(Lakeshore Flood Statement) and RP.S (Rip Current Statement).


Option 2:  Use VTEC RP.S for rip currents, VTEC CF.S for minor

coastal flooding, and VTEC BH.S for other beach and surf zone



There are no new VTEC codes for the continuation of this test.

Users do not need to make any adjustments to their systems.


Table 1: Communication identifiers for 16 NWS offices testing

Beach Hazard Statements which were effective May 20, 2013:


Issuing WFO                        WMO Header         AWIPS Id

-----------                        -----------        --------

Newport/Morehead City, NC          WHUS42 KMHX        CFWMHX

Wakefield, VA                      WHUS41 KAKQ        CFWAKQ

New Orleans/Baton Rouge, LA          WHUS44 KLIX        CFWLIX

Tampa Bay Area, FL                 WHUS42 KTBW        CFWTBW

Miami, FL                            WHUS42 KMFL        CFWMFL

Key West, FL                       WHUS42 KKEY        CFWKEY

Corpus Christi, TX                 WHUS44 KCRP        CFWCRP

Grand Rapids, MI                   WHUS43 KGRR        CFWGRR

Marquette, MI                      WHUS43 KMQT        CFWMQT

Gaylord, MI                        WHUS43 KAPX        CFWAPX

Northern Indiana, IN               WHUS43 KIWX        CFWIWX

Chicago, IL                        WHUS43 KLOT        CFWLOT

Seattle, WA                        WHUS56 KSEW        CFWSEW

San Francisco Bay Area, CA           WHUS46 KMTR        CFWMTR

Los Angeles/Oxnard, CA             WHUS46 KLOX        CFWLOX

San Diego, CA                      WHUS46 KSGX        CFWSGX



Table 2:  WFOs testing Option 1 in 2014:


Issuing WFO:


Grand Rapids, MI

Marquette, MI

Gaylord, MI

Northern Indiana, IN

Chicago, IL

Seattle, WA

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Los Angeles/Oxnard, CA

San Diego, CA

Newport/Morehead City, NC*

Wakefield, VA*


*: WFOs Newport/Morehead City, NC and Wakefield, VA will use the

Coastal Flood Statement (VTEC CF.S) for minor flooding and the

Beach Hazards Statement (VTEC BH.S) for all other beach and surf

zone related hazards, including rip currents. These WFOs will not

use the Rip Current Statement (VTEC RP.S).


Table 3:  WFOs testing Option 2 this season.


Issuing WFO:

New Orleans/Baton Rouge, LA

Tampa Bay Area, FL           

Miami, FL              

Key West, FL                 

Corpus Christi, TX


Other coastal NWS offices not participating in this test will

continue using the CF.S, LS.S, and RP.S codes.  This test of

the Beach Hazards Statement will continue until further notice

unless significant negative feedback is received.


Some of the test offices (Table 4) have collaborated with other

agencies to include specific ecological hazards in the Beach

Hazards Statement.


Table 4. WFOs including information on specific ecological

hazards in the BHS this season:


Issuing WFO                   Ecological Hazards in BHS

--------                       ------------------------------

San Francisco Bay Area, CA    Bacteria in water (issued only

                              when beaches are closed for

                              dangerous bacteria levels)


Tampa Bay Area, FL            Harmful Algal Bloom (Issued only

                              when there is a high risk of

                              respiratory impacts)


WFOs Miami and Key West, FL, are in the process of developing

policies to issue Harmful Algal Bloom information in the Beach

Hazards Statement. An updated Service Change Notice will be

issued when those offices will begin issuing Harmful Algal Bloom

information in the Beach Hazards Statement. 


Below are links to examples of the BHS


BHS issued for Florida Red Tide


Dangerous Swimming Conditions


Rip Currents and High Water Levels


Minor Coastal Flooding and Rip Currents


Minor Tidal Overflow


High Waves and Shoreline Currents


On the NWS Watch, Warning Advisory map


and local Weather Forecast Office webpages, the Beach Hazards

Statement and Rip Current Statement are color-coded in turquoise

and the Coastal Flood Statement is color-coded in olive drab.


Users are encouraged to provide feedback by using the brief

survey and comment form online at:


For information on beach hazards safety and awareness please

refer to the Beach Hazards and Safety website at:



General background information on VTEC can be found online at:



If you have questions or comments please contact:


David Soroka

National Marine Program Leader

Silver Spring, MD 20910

301-713-1677 ext. 111


NWS Service Change Notices are online at: