NOUS41 KWBC 061504



Service Change Notice 14-29

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington, DC

1100 AM EDT Tue May 6 2014


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: Four Additional Weather Forecast Offices in the Great

         Lakes Will Begin Issuing the Experimental Beach Hazards

         Statement Effective on or about May 19, 2014.


Effective on Monday, May 19, 2014, or later if cool weather and ice

on lakes continue, NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFO) in Detroit,

MI; Milwaukee and Green Bay, WI, and Duluth, MN, will begin testing

the Experimental Beach Hazards Statement. With the additional

offices, a total of 20 WFOs will be testing the Experimental Beach

Hazards Statement this year (Table 1). The comment period was

recently extended to December 31, 2014. See the following Public

Information Statement for details.


Participating offices will use one of the two options described



Option 1:  Use 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 codes.


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 19, 2014:


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

Detroit, MI                  WHUS43 KDTX            CFWDTX

Duluth, MN                   WHUS43 KDLH            CFWDLH

Green Bay, WI                WHUS43 KGRB            CFWGRB

Milwaukee, WI                WHUS43 KMKX            CFWMKX



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*

Detroit, MI

Duluth, MN

Green Bay, WI

Milwaukee, WI


*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.  This test of the Experimental Beach Hazards Statement

will continue until December 31, 2014 unless significant negative

feedback is received.


The Experimental Beach Hazard Statement provides beachgoers and

local authorities with significant information related to hazards,

actual or potential, which currently do not have NWS watch, warning

or advisory products. This includes, but is not limited to:


- Dangerous currents in the surf zone

- Unusual surf/wave/tide conditions not meeting 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.


Two NWS offices (Table 4) have collaborated with other agencies to

include specific ecological hazards in the Experimental 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)


Tampa Bay Area, FL            Harmful Algal Bloom (Issued only

                              when there is a high risk of

                              respiratory impacts)


Two additional WFOs, Miami and Key West, FL, are planning to begin

including high respiratory impacts from a Harmful Algal Bloom later

in 2014. A new Service Change Notice will be issued to announce

that change once that implementation is scheduled. Below are links

to examples of the BHS issued during the test last season.


Dangerous Swimming Conditions


Rip Currents and High Water Levels


Minor Coastal Flooding and Rip Currents


Minor Tidal Overflow


High Waves and Shoreline Currents


Florida Red Tide


On the NWS Watch, Warning, Advisory map (,

the Experimental 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:


Wayne Presnell

Beach Hazards Team Leader

Silver Spring, MD 20910

301-713-1677 ext. 103


NWS Service Change Notices are online at: