NOUS41 KWBC 261150



Public Information Statement PNS17-26

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington DC

750 AM EDT Mon Jun 26 2017


TO:       Subscribers:

          -NOAA Weather Wire Service

          -Emergency Managers Weather Information Network


          Other NWS Partners and NWS Employees


FROM:     Darin Figurskey

          Operations Branch Chief, Ocean Prediction Center


SUBJECT:  Soliciting comments on proposed changes to 500mb

          forecasts and terminating production of a small suite

          of products through July 31, 2017


The NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction's (NCEP)

Ocean Prediction Center (OPC) is soliciting comments on proposed

changes to the 500mb forecasts through Monday, July 31, 2017.

OPC plans to automate the 500mb forecasts and disseminate via

radiofax and internet forecasts produced directly by the Global

Forecast System (GFS) model. The 500mb forecasts will also no

longer contain indications of vorticity maxima via trough lines.

Currently, forecasters perform little manual intervention to

numerical weather prediction output on the 500mb forecasts with

the exception of adding vorticity maxima.


Users will now receive 500mb forecasts via the internet on an

hourly basis out to 384 hours, or 16 days, at:


These forecasts will be linked from the OPC internet page, along

with highlighting 500mb forecasts at select hours, at:


Currently, 500mb forecasts are only available to 48 hours.


Also, the change will not affect the radiofax schedule of

forecast information. The radiofax schedule can be found at:


In addition, the OPC proposes to terminate the production of

internet-only products known as "black gif" images. These images

are only available via the internet. Continuing to maintain

these "black gif" images limits OPC's ability to make

improvements to other operational products.


The web URLs that are planned to be discontinued are:



The information can already be found in a different format in

radiofax charts issued by the OPC as well as on the OPC web page at:


Please send comments and requests for more information through

Monday, July 31, 2017, to:


Darin Figurskey

OPC Operations Branch Chief



National Service Change Notices are online at: