NOUS41 KWBC 271650

PNSWSH

 

Service Change Notice 17-53

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington DC

1250 PM EDT Thu Apr 27 2017

 

To: Subscribers:

-NOAA Weather Wire Service

-Emergency Manager Weather Information Network

-NOAAPORT

Other NWS partners and NWS employees

 

From: Michelle Hawkins, Chief

Severe, Fire, Public and Winter Weather Services Branch

 

Subject: Change in Fire Weather Forecast Zones for WFO

Portland, OR, in Washington and Oregon, Effective

July 11, 2017

 

Effective Tuesday, July 11, 2017, at 1200 Coordinated Universal

Time (UTC), the NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Portland,

Oregon (PQR), will split its existing Fire Weather Zone (WAZ660)

into a western section and an eastern section. The western

section will encompass much of the Gifford Pinchot National

Forest and the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. The

eastern section will include much of the Mt. Adams Ranger

District.

 

Additionally, three other existing Fire Weather zones on the

Washington side of the Columbia River (WAZ601, WAZ602, WAZ604)

will be renamed with new zone numbers WAZ664, WAZ665 and WAZ667.

The current Fire Weather zone numbers 601, 602 and 604 will be

retained by the Oregon portions, while new zone numbers will be

assigned to the Washington portions.

 

Fire weather zone WAZ660 will be split into two zones: WAZ660

and WAZ663 along the southern flank of Mt. Adams, to include

most of the Mt. Adams Ranger District. The new fire weather zone

WAZ663 will have its southern boundary along the Columbia Gorge

Scenic Area and the western boundary along the Pacific Crest

Trail. The existing fire weather zone WAZ660 will have a new

eastern boundary of the Pacific Crest Trail. The other

boundaries remain unchanged.

 

The renaming of fire weather zones 601, 602, 604 will be along

the Columbia River, resulting in the existing fire weather zones

ORZ601, ORZ602, ORZ604 having a northern boundary of the

Columbia River, remaining in Oregon. The three fire weather

zones in Washington north of the Columbia River (WAZ664, WAZ665

and WAZ667) will have a southern boundary of the Columbia River

with new zone numbers.

 

These changes will improve warnings and forecasts for the

Mt. Adams Ranger District. This new zone configuration will

assist in providing more accurate information for the Mt. Adams

area as well as areas adjacent to the Columbia River in Oregon

and Washington where the weather and climate vary significantly

over small distances. The new zone numbers on the Washington

side of the Columbia River will help forecasters, land managers

and fire fighters more easily distinguish the specific area for

forecasts and warnings.

 

Once these changes are implemented, the following zone numbers

and names will be used in all fire weather forecast products

issued by WFO PQR for the affected zones on either side of the

Washington-Oregon border.

 

New Fire Weather Forecast Zone names and numbers for the WFO

Portland Forecast Area effective July 11, 2017 are noted below.

 

New Zone

Number New Zone Name

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

WAZ664 South Washington Coast and West Willapa Hills

ORZ601 North Oregon Coast

WAZ665 East Willapa Hills

ORZ602 North Oregon Coast Range

WAZ660 Extreme South Washington Cascades and Foothills

WAZ663 Eastern Gifford Pinchot NF Mt. Adams Ranger Dist.

ORZ604 Willamette Valley

WAZ667 Clark County Lowlands

 

Fire weather forecast zones WAZ601, WAZ602, WAZ604 will no

longer be used by WFO PQR.

 

A graphical depiction of the new fire weather forecast zones as

well as detailed geographic descriptions are online at:

 

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/pns/pqr_zones.pdf

 

An updated fire weather zone shapefile is online at:

 

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/geodata/catalog/wsom/html/firezone.htm

 

Partners and users of WFO Portland fire weather products will

need to update their system(s) to continue receiving correct

fire weather forecasts/products.

 

Product categories affected by zone reconfigurations are found

below.

 

Product AWIPS ID/WMO Header

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

Fire Weather Planning Forecast FWF / FZUS56 KPQR

Red Flag Warning/Fire Weather Watch RFW / FNUS56 KPQR

Fire Weather Spot Forecast FWS / FNUS76 KPQR

Fire Danger Rating System Forecast FWM / FNUS86 KPQR

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Tyree Wilde

Warning Coordination Meteorologist

National Weather Service

Portland, OR 97230

503-326-2340

tyree.wilde@noaa.gov

 

National Service Change Notices are online at:

 

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

 

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