NOUS41 KWBC 301139



Service Change Notice 13-33

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington, DC

730 AM EDT Tue Apr 30 2013


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 Weather Services Branch


Subject: Expansion of the Beach Hazards Statement to Ten 

         Additional Weather Forecast Offices Effective

         May 20, 2013


Effective Monday May 20, 2013, at 1200 Coordinated Universal Time

(UTC), 10 additional NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFO) will

begin testing the Beach Hazards Statement.  With the additional

offices, a total of 16 WFOs will be testing the Beach Hazards

Statement this year (Table 1). For information on last year’s

test, refer to Service Change Notice 12-10:


Last year’s Beach Hazard Statement test revealed some limitations

with respect to providing information on all beach and surf zone

hazards. Therefore, this season participating offices will use

one of the two options described below:


Option 1:  Repeat last season by using Valid Time Event Code

(VTEC) BH.S instead of CF.S (Coastal Flood Statement), LS.S

(Lakeshore Flood Statement) and RP.S (Rip Current Statement) VTEC



Option 2:  Use VTEC RP.S for rip currents, CF.S for minor coastal

flooding, and VTEC BH.S for other beach and surf zone hazards.


There are no new VTEC codes for the test. Users do not need to

make any adjustments to their systems. See Tables 2 and 3 for a

listing of WFOs and the option they will be testing this season.


Table 1: Communication identifiers for NWS offices testing Beach

Hazard Statements, effective May 20, 2013:


Issuing WFO                  WMO Header             AWIPS Id 

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

Newport/Morehead City, NC    WHUS42 KMHX            CFWMHX

Wakefield, VA                WHUS41 KAKQ            CFWAKQ

New Orleans/Baton Rouge, LA  WHUS44 KLIX            CFWLIX

Tampa Bay Area, FL           WHUS42 KTBW            CFWTBW

Miami, FL                    WHUS42 KMFL            CFWMFL

Key West, FL                 WHUS42 KKEY            CFWKEY

Corpus Christi, TX           WHUS44 KCRP            CFWCRP

Grand Rapids, MI             WHUS43 KGRR            CFWGRR

Marquette, MI                WHUS43 KMQT            CFWMQT

Gaylord, MI                  WHUS43 KAPX            CFWAPX

Northern Indiana, IN         WHUS43 KIWX            CFWIWX

Chicago, IL                  WHUS43 KLOT            CFWLOT

Seattle, WA                  WHUS56 KSEW            CFWSEW

San Francisco Bay Area, CA   WHUS46 KMTR            CFWMTR

Los Angeles/Oxnard, CA       WHUS46 KLOX            CFWLOX

San Diego, CA                WHUS46 KSGX            CFWSGX



Table 2:  WFOs testing Option 1 this season:


Issuing WFO:


Grand Rapids, MI

Marquette, MI

Gaylord, MI

Northern Indiana, IN

Chicago, IL

Seattle, WA

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Los Angeles/Oxnard, CA

San Diego, CA

Newport/Morehead City, NC*

Wakefield, VA*


*: WFOs Newport/Morehead City, NC and Wakefield, VA will use the

Coastal Flood Statement (VTEC CF.S) for minor flooding and the

Beach Hazards Statement (VTEC BH.S) for all other beach and surf

zone related hazards, including rip currents.  They will not use

the Rip Current Statement (VTEC RP.S).


Table 3:  WFOs testing Option 2 this season.


Issuing WFO:

New Orleans/Baton Rouge, LA 

Tampa Bay Area, FL          

Miami, FL                  

Key West, FL                

Corpus Christi, TX


Other coastal NWS offices will continue using the CF.S, LS.S, and

RP.S codes (in offices where the RP.S code is used).   

This test of the Beach Hazards Statement will continue until

further notice unless significant negative feedback is



The Beach Hazard Statement provides beachgoers and local

authorities with significant information related to hazards,

actual or potential, which do not meet NWS Advisory or Warning

criteria.  This includes, but are not limited to:


- Dangerous currents in the surf zone

- Unusual surf/wave conditions not meeting advisory criteria

- Unusual water temperatures

- Unusual weather conditions along the beach that do not meet

  advisory criteria


Rip Current Statements inform beachgoers of the potential and

risk level for rip currents.


Coastal Flood Statements inform beachgoers about minor flooding

along the coast that does not meet advisory criteria.


Three NWS offices (Table 4) have collaborated with other agencies

to include specific ecological hazards in the Beach Hazards

Statement this season. 


Table 4. WFOs including information on specific ecological

hazards in the BHS this season:



Issuing WFO                   Ecological Hazards in BHS

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

San Francisco Bay Area, CA    Bacteria in water (issued only 

                              for dangerous bacteria levels)


Seattle, WA                   Tsunami/Marine debris


Tampa Bay Area, FL            Harmful Algal Bloom (Issued only 

                              when there is a high risk of

                              respiratory impacts)


Below are links to examples of the BHS issued during the test

last season.



On the NWS Watch, Warning Advisory map (,

the Beach Hazards Statement and Rip Current Statement are

highlighted in turquoise and the Coastal Flood Statement is

highlighted in olive drab.


Users are encouraged to provide feedback by using the brief

survey and comment form online at:


For information on beach hazards safety and awareness please

refer to the Beach Hazards and Safety website 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

Silver Spring, MD 20910

301-713-1677 ext. 111


NWS Service Change Notices are online at: