NOUS41 KWBC 241848



Service Change Notice 11-36

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington DC

248 PM EDT Mon Oct 24 2011


TO:       Subscribers:

          -Family of Services

          -NOAA Weather Wire Service

          -Emergency Managers Weather Information Network


          Other NWS Partners and NWS Employees


FROM:     Eli Jacks

          Chief, Fire and Public Weather Services Branch


SUBJECT   Implementation of Improved Public Zone Coverage

          for Southwestern/South Central New Mexico and

          Far West Texas Effective February 23, 2012


Effective Thursday, February 23, 2012, at 3:00 pm Mountain Standard Time (MST), 2200 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Santa Teresa, NM, (EPZ), will issue public weather forecast and warning products using new public zones.


WFO EPZ public zone boundaries are being changed to better incorporate local topography and climatology across southern New Mexico and far west Texas.  Several existing zones have been reconfigured to mitigate the significant variances in climate and elevation in the zones currently in use.


Some of the major changes to the current zone configuration include:


- Differentiation between the eastern and western slopes of the

  southern Sacramento Mountains.


- Division of El Paso county to reflect the differences in wind

  and temperature within the city of El Paso on either side of

  the Franklin Mountains.


- Reduction in size of several zones that currently have great

  ranges in temperature and elevation.


- Improvement in separation of mountains and valleys across the

  southern Gila region.


More detail regarding why these public zone changes are being made, graphical depictions of the current and new public zones, text listings of old and new public zone names with Universal Geographic Codes (UGC), and a table of WFO EPZ products affected by these changes is online at:


Table 1:  Retiring WFO EPZ Public Zone Numbers and Names


Retiring Zone      Retiring Zone Name


-------------      ------------------

NMZ022             Southwest Mountains/Lower Gila Region

NMZ023             Sierra County Lakes Region

NMZ024             Tularosa Basin/Southern Desert

NMZ025             Southern Sacramento Mountains

NMZ030             Southwest Desert/Bootheel

NMZ031             Southwest Desert/Mimbres Basin

NMZ032             Southern Desert

TXZ055             El Paso

TXZ056             Hudspeth


Table 2:  New WFO EPZ Public Zone Numbers and Names


New Zone Number    New Zone Name

---------------    -------------

NMZ401             Upper Gila River Valley

NMZ402             Southern Gila Highlands/Black Range

NMZ403             Southern Gila Foothills/Mimbres Valley

NMZ404             Southwest Desert/Lower Gila River Valley

NMZ405             Lowlands of the Bootheel

NMZ406             Uplands of the Bootheel

NMZ407             Southwest Desert/Mimbres Basin

NMZ408             Eastern Black Range Foothills

NMZ409             Sierra County Lakes

NMZ410             Northern Dona Ana County

NMZ411             Southern Dona Ana County/Mesilla Valley

NMZ412             Central Tularosa Basin

NMZ413             Southern Tularosa Basin

NMZ414             West Slopes Sacramento Mountains Below

                     7500 Feet

NMZ415             Sacramento Mountains Above 7500 Feet

NMZ416             East Slopes Sacramento Mountains Below

                     7500 Feet

NMZ417             Otero Mesa

TXZ418             Western El Paso County

TXZ419             Eastern/Central El Paso County

TXZ420             Northern Hudspeth Highlands/Hueco Mountains

TXZ421             Salt Basin

TXZ422             Southern Hudspeth Highlands

TXZ423             Rio Grande Valley of Eastern El Paso/Western

                     Hudspeth Counties

TXZ424             Rio Grande Valley of Eastern Hudspeth County


Partners and other users must take appropriate action to continue correctly processing all WFO EPZ products.


Updated public zone map shapefiles are available for download online at:


The changes are to WFO EPZ public zones only. WFO EPZ fire weather zones will remain unchanged.


If you have any questions, please contact:


Jesus Haro                        Melinda Bailey

National Weather Service          NWS Southern Region HQ

Santa Teresa NM 88008             Fort Worth TX 76102

575-589-4088 X222                 817-978-1100 X107


National Service Change Notices are online at: