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Service Change Notice 17-99

National Weather Service Headquarters Silver Spring MD

1140 AM EDT Tue Sep 5 2017


TO:       Subscribers:

          -NOAA Weather Wire Service

          -Emergency Managers Weather Information Network


          Other NWS Partners and NWS Employees


FROM:     Darin Figurskey

          Operations Branch Chief, Ocean Prediction Center


SUBJECT:  Changes to 500mb forecasts provided by the Ocean

          Prediction Center and ceasing production of a small

          suite of products effective November 13, 2017


The NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction's (NCEP)

Ocean Prediction Center (OPC) will make changes to the 500mb

forecasts produced by the center effective Monday, November 13,

2017. OPC will automate the 500mb forecasts and disseminate via

radiofax and Internet forecasts produced directly by the Global

Forecast System (GFS) model.


The 500mb forecasts also will no longer contain indications of

vorticity maxima via trough lines. Currently, forecasters

perform little manual intervention to numerical weather

prediction output on the 500mb forecasts with the exception of

adding vorticity maxima.


Users will now receive 500mb forecasts via the Internet on an

hourly basis out to 384 hours, or 16 days, at:


These forecasts will be linked from the OPC internet page, along

with highlighting 500mb forecasts at select hours, at:


Currently, 500mb forecasts are only available to 96 hours.


Also, the change will not affect the radiofax schedule of

forecast information. The radiofax schedule can be found at:


In addition, the OPC will terminate the production of Internet-

only products known as black gif images. These images are only

available via the Internet. Continuing to maintain these black

gifs limits OPC's ability to make improvements to other

operational products.


The web URLs that will be discontinued are:



The information can already be found in a different format in

radiofax charts issued by the OPC, as well as on the OPC web

page at:


For comments and requests for more information, contacts:


Darin Figurskey

OPC Operations Branch Chief



National Service Change Notices are online at: