NOUS41 KWBC 121505



Service Change Notice 12-10, Amended

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington, DC

1105 AM EDT Tue May 2 2012


To: Subscribers:

-Family of Services

-NOAA Weather Wire Service

-Emergency Managers Weather Information Network


Other NWS Partners, Users and Employees


From: Mark Tew

Chief, Marine and Coastal Services Branch


Subject: Amended: Test of Beach Hazards Statement with new

Valid Time Event Code (VTEC) in Coastal Hazard Message

at Select Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) Effective

May 15, 2012


Amended to do the following:

-Add links to examples of the new product
-Change the headline wording in the product
-Clarify wording in one paragraph


Effective Tuesday May 15, 2012, at 1200 Coordinated Universal Time

(UTC), six NWS Weather Forecast Offices will use a new
VTEC event code for beach hazards in their Coastal Hazard Messages (CFW).

Table 1: Communication identifiers for the CFWs issued by the
6 WFOs that will use the new VTEC for Beach Hazards (BH.S) effective May 15, 2012:


Issuing WFO WMO Header AWIPS Id

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


San Francisco Bay Area, CA WHUS46 KMTR CFWMTR

Newport/Morehead City, NC WHUS42 KMHX CFWMHX

New Orleans/Baton Rouge, LA WHUS44 KLIX CFWLIX




For the offices participating in this test, the new VTEC code

BH.S will replace the following VTEC codes:


CF.S Coastal Flood Statement

LS.S Lakeshore Flood Statement (used in the Great Lakes)

RP.S Rip Current Statement

Coastal NWS offices not participating in this test will not use the BH.S VTEC code

and continue to use the CF.S, LS.S, and RP.S codes (In offices where the RP.S code

is used).


Customers must make the appropriate changes to their systems in order to process

the new VTEC BH.S.


This test of the new VTEC event code (BH.S) within the CFW by the WFOs specified in

Table 1 will continue until further notice, unless significant negative feedback

is received.


The headline "Hazardous Beach Conditions" has been changed to "Beach Hazards Statement"

in the following paragraph.


The Beach Hazards Statement, with the headline of "Beach Hazards Statement in effect

for (timeframe)" will inform beachgoers and local authorities of a multitude of hazards

including, but not limited to:


-Rip currents or other dangerous currents in the surf zone

-Unusually cold water temperatures

-Potential for lightning along the beach/shoreline

high heat indices which do not meet advisory criteria

-Unusual surf/wave conditions not meeting advisory criteria


In coordination with other agencies, as needed, the product may also inform users of

various types of environmental hazards, e.g., chemical spills, harmful algal blooms,

high bacteria levels in the water, or potentially hazardous marine wildlife which

may be impacting the area.


The following paragraph has been reworded for clarification:

The Beach Hazards Statement is intended to provide information for these types of

hazards in a single product. The types of hazards listed above will not necessarily

apply to all NWS coastal offices participating in this test. Each office has unique

criteria for their area of responsibility and will tailor the contents as appropriate.


Below are links to examples of the Beach Hazards Statement.


The BH.S will be operational, i.e., the VTEC line will carry the (O) identifier.

The Beach Hazard information issued by these offices will be highlighted in turquoise,

same color as rip current statement, on the NWS Watch, Warning Advisory map at:


Users are encouraged to provide feedback by using the brief survey and comment form

on the Internet at:


For information on beach hazards safety and awareness please refer to the new Beach

Hazards Safety and Awareness page, currently under construction:


General background information on VTEC can be found online at:

If you have questions or comments please contact:

David Soroka

National Marine Program Leader

Silver Spring, MD 20910

301-713-1677 ext. 111


NWS Service Change Notices are online at: