NOUS41 KWBC 061355

PNSWSH

 

Service Change Notice 11-40

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington DC

915 AM EST Tue Dec 6 2011

 

To:       Subscribers:

          -Family of Services

          -NOAA Weather Wire Service

          -Emergency Managers Weather Information Network

          -NOAAPORT

          Other NWS Partners, Users and Employees

 

From:     Therese Z. Pierce

          Chief, Marine and Coastal Services Branch

 

Subject:  Changes in Offshore Waters Marine Zones 

          For the Caribbean and Southwest North Atlantic

          And the Gulf of Mexico Effective April 3, 2012

 

Effective Tuesday April 3, 2012 at 200 pm Eastern Daylight  Time (EDT) or 1800 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB) of the National Hurricane Center will reconfigure its marine zones for the offshore waters in the Caribbean and Southwest North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Currently there are five (5) marine zones covering the Caribbean and Southwest North Atlantic and four (4) marine zones covering the Gulf of Mexico. These zones will be reconfigured into twenty-four (24) marine zones to cover the Caribbean and Southwest North Atlantic and eight (8) zones to cover the Gulf of Mexico. Marine observations, local effects, and substantial customer feedback all indicate that the current configuration of marine zones does not adequately address the local effects and does not provide enough detail for the marine community. This reconfiguration will serve to improve the precision of marine warnings, forecasts, and other services by allowing forecasters to be more area specific.

 

Table 1 lists the current marine zones and corresponding

UGCs for which TAFB issues forecasts and warnings.

 

Table 2 lists the marine zones and corresponding Universal Geographic Codes (UGC) for which TAFB will issue forecasts and warnings effective April 3, 2012.

 

Table 3 lists all of the products issued by TAFB that will be affected by the marine zone changes. 

 

Table 1. Current marine zones and corresponding UGCs

which TAFB issues forecasts and warnings:

 

Current Marine Zone Name                    Current UGC

 

Synopsis for the SW N Atlc including the     AMZ088

 Bahamas   

SW N Atlantic S of 31N W of 65W               AMZ080

 including Bahamas                             

Synopsis for the Caribbean Sea and Tropical   AMZ089

 N Atlc from 07N to 22N between 55W and 65W

NW Caribbean N of 15N W of 75W                AMZ082                         

SW Caribbean S of 15N W of 75W                AMZ084 

Caribbean E of 75W to the                     AMZ086

 Windward and Leeward Islands

Tropical N Atlantic from 07N to 22N           AMZ087

 between 55W and 65W

 

Synopsis for the Gulf of Mexico               GMZ089

NW Gulf N of 25N W of 90W including the

Flower Garden Banks Marine Sanctuary          GMZ080  

SW Gulf S of 25N W of 90W                     GMZ082

Middle Gulf between 85W and 90W               GMZ084

E Gulf between 81W and 85W                    GMZ086

 

Table 2. Marine zones and corresponding UGCs for which

TAFB will issue forecasts and warnings effective

April 3, 2012:

 

New Marine Zone Name                          NEW UGC

 

Synopsis for Caribbean Sea and Tropical       AMZ001

 N Atlantic from 07N to 22N between 55W and 65W

Caribbean N of 18N W of 85W including         AMZ011

 Yucatan Basin

Caribbean N of 18N between 76W and 85W        AMZ013

 including Cayman Basin

Caribbean approaches to the Windward Passage  AMZ015

Gulf of Honduras                             AMZ017

Caribbean from 15N to 18N between 80W         AMZ019

 and 85W

Caribbean from 15N to 18N between 72W       AMZ021

 and 80W

Caribbean N of 15N between 64W and 72W      AMZ023

Offshore Waters Leeward Islands             AMZ025

Tropical N Atlantic from 15N to 19N between AMZ027

 55W and 60W

W Central Caribbean from 11N to 15N W of 80W AMZ029 

Caribbean from 11N to 15N between 72W      AMZ031

  and 80W including Colombia Basin

Caribbean S of 15N between 64W and 72W     AMZ033  

 including Venezuela Basin

Offshore Waters Windward Islands including  AMZ035  

 Trinidad and Tobago

Tropical N Atlantic from 07N to 15N between  AMZ037 

 55W and 60W

Southwest Caribbean S of 11N including       AMZ039

 Approaches to the Panama Canal

 

Synopsis for the SW N Atlantic including    AMZ101

 the Bahamas

Atlantic from 27N to 31N W of 77W           AMZ111

Atlantic from 27N to 31N between 70W and 77W AMZ113

Atlantic from 27N to 31N between 65W and 70W AMZ115

Bahamas including Cay Sal Bank                AMZ117

Atlantic from 22N to 27N E of Bahamas to 70W AMZ119

Atlantic from 22N to 27N between 65W and 70W AMZ121

Atlantic S of 22N W of 70W including         AMZ123 

 Approaches to the Windward Passage

Atlantic S of 22N between 65W and 70W        AMZ125

 including Puerto Rico Trench

Atlantic from 19N to 22N between 55W and 65W  AMZ127

 

Synopsis for the Gulf of Mexico            GMZ001  

NW Gulf including Stetson Bank              GMZ011

N Central Gulf including     Flower Garden Banks GMZ013

 Marine Sanctuary

NE Gulf N of 25N E of 87W                   GMZ015

W Central Gulf from 22N to 26N W of 94W    GMZ017

Central Gulf from 22N to 26N between 87W    GMZ019

 and 94W 

Gulf from 22N to 25N E of 87W including     GMZ021

 Straits of Florida

SW Gulf S of 22N W of 94W                   GMZ023

E Bay of Campeche including Campeche Bank   GMZ025

 

To view graphical images of the current marine zones and the proposed marine zones for which TAFB will issue forecasts and warnings effective April 3, 2012 go to the following web site:

 

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/scn/marine/2011/marine_zones/examples.html

 

TABLE 3. TAFB products affected by the marine zone changes effective April 3, 2012:

 

Product Name                   WMO Heading     AWIPS ID

 

Offshore Waters Forecast       FZNT23 KNHC      OFFNT3

Offshore Waters Forecast       FZNT24 KNHC      OFFNT4

Miami NAVTEX Forecast          FZNT25 KNHC      OFFN04

San Juan NAVTEX Forecast       FZNT26 KNHC      OFFN05

New Orleans NAVTEX Forecast    FZNT27 KNHC      OFFN06

 

Customers must reprogram affected hardware and software to continue correctly processing the products listed in Table 3.

 

Also customers using a graphical representation of these zones must download an updated marine zone map shapefile to correctly depict the marine forecast areas for the Caribbean and southwest North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico offshore waters.

 

An updated marine zone map shapefile containing the new zones is available for download from the following website:

 

www.nws.noaa.gov/geodata/catalog/wsom/html/marinezones.htm

 


The NAVTEX forecasts will be reconfigured to limit coverage to within 200 nm of the coasts assigned to each transmitter.  Specifically, the forecast area for the New Orleans transmitter will cover the northern Gulf of Mexico from the Suwanee River, FL to the mouth of the Rio Grande, out 200 nm. The Miami NAVTEX forecast area will cover the waters around the peninsula of Florida from Suwanee River on the Gulf Coast, to Flagler Beach on the Atlantic Coast, out 200 nm. The San Juan forecast area will cover the waters within 200 nm of the San Juan transmitter, to include the Mona Passage and part of the Anegada Passage.  This reconfiguration will better conform to the range of the transmitters, provide more detailed information along the immediate coast, and better meet broadcast time constraints.  For more information, including maps of the new NAVTEX areas, please refer the following website:

 

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/experimental/offshores/navtex.php

 

In order to better meet the time constraints for voice broadcast via the U.S. Coast Guard, two new products will be made available as listed in Table 4.  These products will combine forecasts for the 32 zones in such a way that they will be similar to the Offshore Waters Forecasts before reconfiguration.

 

 

TABLE 4. Future Product Headers for USCG Voice Broadcasts:

 

Product Name                    WMO Heading      AWIPS ID

 

Broadcast Text for the          FZNT31 KNHC      MIAOFFN20

Caribbean and Southwest

North Atlantic

Broadcast Text for the Gulf     FZNT32 KNHC      MIAOFFN21

Of Mexico

 

If you have any questions or comments about this reconfiguration of TAFB offshore waters marine zones please contact:

 

Hugh D. Cobb                    Richard May

Chief, TAFB                     NWS Headquarters

National Hurricane Center       Marine Services                              

11691 SW 17th Street             1325 East-West Highway 

Miami, FL  33165-2149           Silver Spring, MD  20910 

305-229-4454                    301-713-1677 x 127

Hugh.Cobb@noaa.gov              Richard.May@noaa.gov  

 

National Weather Service Change notices are posted at:

http://www.weather.gov/os/notif.htm

 

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