Service Change Notice 11-15

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington , DC

700 AM EDT Tue Mar 15 2011


To:       Subscribers:

          -Family of Services

          -NOAA Weather Wire Service

          -Emergency Managers Weather Information Network


          Other NWS Partners, Users and Employees


From:     Therese Z. Pierce

          Chief, Marine and Coastal Services Branch


Subject:  Test of Operational Rip Current Valid Time Event

Code (VTEC) in Coastal Hazard Message at Select Weather

Forecast Offices (WFOs) Effective May 12, 2011


Effective Thursday May 12, 2011, at 1200 Coordinated

Universal Time (UTC) 10 additional WFOs will use a new

VTEC event code for rip currents in their Coastal Hazard

Messages (CFW).


These WFOs will begin using the new VTEC event code RP.S

within the CFW, instead of CF.S or LS.S, when specifically

targeting an increased Rip Current Risk.  The RP.S will be

operational (i.e., the VTEC line will carry the (O)

identifier).  The Rip Current information issued by these

offices will be highlighted in turquoise on the NWS Watch,

Warning Advisory map at


Table 1:  Communication identifiers for the CFWs issued by the 
10 WFOs which will use the new VTEC for Rip Currents (RP.S) 
effective May 12, 2011 
Issuing WFO                  WMO Header             AWIPS Id  
Melbourne, FL                WHUS42 KMLB            CFWMLB
Miami, FL                    WHUS42 KMFL            CFWMFL
Brownsville, TX              WHUS44 KBRO            CFWBRO
Corpus Christi, TX           WHUS44 KCRP            CFWCRP 
Mobile, AL                   WHUS44 KMOB            CFWMOB
Wakefield, VA                WHUS41 KAKQ            CFWAKQ
Philadelphia, PA             WHUS41 KPHI            CFWPHI
New York, NY                 WHUS41 KOKX            CFWOKX
Boston, MA                   WHUS41 KBOX            CFWBOX
Cleveland, OH                WHUS41 KCLE            CFWCLE


Customers must make the appropriate changes to their systems

in order to process the new VTEC RP.S.


Table 2:  Communication identifiers for the CFWs issued by 
the seven WFOs which began using the VTEC RP.S in 2010
Issuing WFO                  WMO Header             AWIPS Id  
Charleston, SC               WHUS42 KCHS            CFWCHS
Newport/Morehead City, NC    WHUS42 KMHX            CFWMHX   
Wilmington, NC               WHUS42 KILM            CFWILM
Jacksonville, FL             WHUS42 KJAX            CFWJAX 
Tallahassee, FL              WHUS42 KTAE            CFWTAE
Chicago, IL                  WHUS43 KLOT            CFWLOT
Northern Indiana IN     WHUS43 KIWX            CFWIWX


The remainder of NWS coastal and Great Lakes offices will

continue using the VTEC event codes CF.S or LS.S in their

Coastal/Lakeshore Flood Statements (CFW) when a Rip Current

threat exists.  No actions are necessary to continue

processing the CF.S and LS.S VTEC event codes.


This test of the new VTEC event code (RP.S) within the CFW

by the WFOs specified in Table 1 will continue until further

notice, unless significant negative feedback is received. 


Users are encouraged to provide feedback by using the brief 
survey and comment form on the Internet at:

General background information on VTEC can be found online at:


If you have questions or comments please contact:


David Soroka

National Marine Program Leader

1325 East West Highway

Silver Spring , MD 20910

301-713-1677 Ext. 111


NWS Service Change Notices are online at: