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SAFESEAS

System on AWIPS for Forecasting and Evaluation of Seas and Lakes

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Introduction

The Weather Forecast Office (WFO) faces a stream of observations spread over a large area of water and land, and highly clustered in time. It must be constantly aware not only of current conditions within its area of responsibility (AOR), but also of what is moving into and out of its AOR, and how conditions are changing within its AOR. SAFESEAS is an AWIPS decision assistance tool engineered to continuously monitor marine and adjacent overland conditions for specific marine weather hazards. It automatically alerts the WFO whenever such conditions are detected. SAFESEAS provides capabilities to display observed marine conditions in ways that help the WFO focus on what it considers most important. To facilitate awareness of conditions moving into and out of its AOR, SAFESEAS provides the WFO the ability to customize which station's observations are monitored for each zone in its AOR. SAFESEAS also provides the WFO the ability to customize the thresholds at which conditions will be considered threatening and the thresholds at which conditions will be considered hazardous. This threshold customization may be done on a zone by zone, variable by variable, and product by product basis. To help the WFO maintain awareness of how conditions are changing within its AOR, SAFESEAS provides time trend plots of marine observations. Thus SAFESEAS assists the WFO in making faster, earlier, and higher-quality decisions regarding marine watches and warnings, and thus contributes to "no surprises" marine watch/warning service.