NOUS41 KWBC 311655



Service Change Notice 15-18

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington, DC

1255 PM EDT Tue Mar 31 2015


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: Experimental Beach Hazards Statement will become

         operational effective May 4, 2015


Effective Monday May 4, 2015, the Experimental Beach Hazards

Statement will transition to operational. The Beach Hazards

Statement is approved for all coastal NWS offices to issue when

they determine there are unusual or hazardous conditions in the

surf zone or at a beach in their area of forecast responsibility.

The Beach Hazards 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


Coastal NWS offices issue Rip Current Statements to inform

beachgoers of the potential and risk level for rip currents.


Since 2012, 20 coastal Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) have been

testing the Experimental Beach Hazards Statement (Table 1). NWS

received comments from May 15, 2012, through December 31, 2014. 

Based on positive feedback for the experimental product, NWS will

transition the Experimental Beach Hazards Statement to the Beach

Hazards Statement.  


The VTEC code for the Beach Hazards Statement will be the same as

for the Experimental Beach Hazards Statement: BH.S. Users do not

need to make any adjustments to their systems.


Table 1: Communication identifiers for NWS offices who tested the

Experimental Beach Hazards Statement


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                  WHUS46 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


Five NWS offices (Table 2) have collaborated with other agencies

to include specific ecological hazards in the Beach Hazards



Table 2: WFOs including information on specific ecological

hazards in the BHS:


Issuing WFO                   Ecological Hazards in BHS

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

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

and San Diego, CA             a beach is closed due to bacteria)


Tampa Bay Area, Miami and     Harmful Algal Bloom (Issued only

Key West FL                   when there is a high risk of

                              respiratory impacts)


Below are links to examples of the Beach Hazards Statement.


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 Beach Hazards Statement, along with the Rip Current

Statement, is highlighted in turquoise.


For information on beach hazards safety and awareness, please

refer to the following website:


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



NWS Service Change Notices are online at: