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Service Change Notice


NOUS41 KWBC 061355
PNSWSH
 
Service Change Notice 11-40
National Weather Service Headquarters Washington DC
915 AM EST Tue Dec 6 2011

To:       Subscribers:
          -Family of Services
          -NOAA Weather Wire Service
          -Emergency Managers Weather Information Network
          -NOAAPORT
          Other NWS Partners, Users and Employees
 
From:     Therese Z. Pierce
          Chief, Marine and Coastal Services Branch

Subject:  Changes in Offshore Waters Marine Zones 
          For the Caribbean and Southwest North Atlantic
          And the Gulf of Mexico Effective April 3, 2012

Effective Tuesday April 3, 2012 at 200 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) 
or 1800 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the Tropical Analysis and 
Forecast Branch (TAFB) of the National Hurricane Center will reconfigure 
its marine zones for the offshore waters in the Caribbean and Southwest 
North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.

Currently there are five (5) marine zones covering the Caribbean and 
Southwest North Atlantic and four (4) marine zones covering the Gulf of 
Mexico. These zones will be reconfigured into twenty-four (24) marine 
zones to cover the Caribbean and Southwest North Atlantic and eight (8) 
zones to cover the Gulf of Mexico. Marine observations, local effects, 
and substantial customer feedback all indicate that the current configuration 
of marine zones does not adequately address the local effects and does not 
provide enough detail for the marine community. This reconfiguration will 
serve to improve the precision of marine warnings, forecasts, and other 
services by allowing forecasters to be more area specific.

Table 1 lists the current marine zones and corresponding
 UGCs for which TAFB issues forecasts and warnings.
Table 2 lists the marine zones and corresponding Universal Geographic 
 Codes (UGC) for which TAFB will issue forecasts  and warnings effective 
 April 3, 2012.
Table 3 lists all of the products issued by TAFB that will be affected by 
 the marine zone changes. 


Table 1. Current marine zones and corresponding UGCs
 which TAFB issues forecasts and warnings:

Current Marine Zone Name                    Current UGC

Synopsis for the SW N Atlc including the      AMZ088
 Bahamas   
SW N Atlantic S of 31N W of 65W               AMZ080
 including Bahamas                             
Synopsis for the Caribbean Sea and Tropical   AMZ089
 N Atlc from 07N to 22N between 55W and 65W
NW Caribbean N of 15N W of 75W                AMZ082                         
SW Caribbean S of 15N W of 75W                AMZ084 
Caribbean E of 75W to the                     AMZ086
 Windward and Leeward Islands
Tropical N Atlantic from 07N to 22N           AMZ087
 between 55W and 65W

Synopsis for the Gulf of Mexico               GMZ089
NW Gulf N of 25N W of 90W including the       GMZ080
 Flower Garden Banks Marine Sanctuary  
SW Gulf S of 25N W of 90W                     GMZ082
Middle Gulf between 85W and 90W               GMZ084
E Gulf between 81W and 85W                    GMZ086


Table 2. Marine zones and corresponding UGCs for which
TAFB will issue forecasts and warnings effective
April 3, 2012:

New Marine Zone Name                          NEW UGC

Synopsis for Caribbean Sea and Tropical       AMZ001
 N Atlantic from 07N to 22N between 55W and 65W
Caribbean N of 18N W of 85W including         AMZ011
 Yucatan Basin
Caribbean N of 18N between 76W and 85W        AMZ013
 including Cayman Basin
Caribbean approaches to the Windward Passage  AMZ015
Gulf of Honduras                              AMZ017
Caribbean from 15N to 18N between 80W         AMZ019
 and 85W
Caribbean from 15N to 18N between 72W         AMZ021
 and 80W
Caribbean N of 15N between 64W and 72W        AMZ023
Offshore Waters Leeward Islands               AMZ025
Tropical N Atlantic from 15N to 19N between   AMZ027
 55W and 60W
W Central Caribbean from 11N to 15N W of 80W  AMZ029 
Caribbean from 11N to 15N between 72W         AMZ031
  and 80W including Colombia Basin
Caribbean S of 15N between 64W and 72W        AMZ033  
 including Venezuela Basin
Offshore Waters Windward Islands including    AMZ035  
 Trinidad and Tobago
Tropical N Atlantic from 07N to 15N between   AMZ037 
 55W and 60W
Southwest Caribbean S of 11N including        AMZ039
 Approaches to the Panama Canal

Synopsis for the SW N Atlantic including      AMZ101
 the Bahamas
Atlantic from 27N to 31N W of 77W             AMZ111
Atlantic from 27N to 31N between 70W and 77W  AMZ113
Atlantic from 27N to 31N between 65W and 70W  AMZ115
Bahamas including Cay Sal Bank                AMZ117
Atlantic from 22N to 27N E of Bahamas to 70W  AMZ119
Atlantic from 22N to 27N between 65W and 70W  AMZ121
Atlantic S of 22N W of 70W including          AMZ123 
 Approaches to the Windward Passage
Atlantic S of 22N between 65W and 70W         AMZ125
 including Puerto Rico Trench
Atlantic from 19N to 22N between 55W and 65W  AMZ127

Synopsis for the Gulf of Mexico               GMZ001  
NW Gulf including Stetson Bank                GMZ011
N Central Gulf including Flower Garden Banks  GMZ013
 Marine Sanctuary
NE Gulf N of 25N E of 87W                     GMZ015
W Central Gulf from 22N to 26N W of 94W       GMZ017
Central Gulf from 22N to 26N between 87W      GMZ019
 and 94W 
Gulf from 22N to 25N E of 87W including       GMZ021
 Straits of Florida
SW Gulf S of 22N W of 94W                     GMZ023
E Bay of Campeche including Campeche Bank     GMZ025

To view graphical images of the current marine zones and the proposed 
marine zones for which TAFB will issue forecasts and warnings effective 
April 3, 2012 go to the following web site:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/scn/marine/2011/marine_zones/examples.html


Table 3. TAFB products affected by the marine zone changes effective 
April 3, 2012:

Product Name                   WMO Heading     AWIPS ID

Offshore Waters Forecast       FZNT23 KNHC      OFFNT3
Offshore Waters Forecast       FZNT24 KNHC      OFFNT4
Miami NAVTEX Forecast          FZNT25 KNHC      OFFN04
San Juan NAVTEX Forecast       FZNT26 KNHC      OFFN05
New Orleans NAVTEX Forecast    FZNT27 KNHC      OFFN06

Customers must reprogram affected hardware and software to continue 
correctly processing the products listed in Table 3.

Also customers using a graphical representation of these zones must 
download an updated marine zone map shapefile to correctly depict the 
marine forecast areas for the Caribbean and southwest North Atlantic 
and the Gulf of Mexico offshore waters.

An updated marine zone map shapefile containing the new zones is 
available for download from the following website:

www.nws.noaa.gov/geodata/catalog/wsom/html/marinezones.htm

The NAVTEX forecasts will be reconfigured to limit coverage to within 
200 nm of the coasts assigned to each transmitter.  Specifically, the 
forecast area for the New Orleans transmitter will cover the northern 
Gulf of Mexico from the Suwanee River, FL to the mouth of the Rio 
Grande, out 200 nm. The Miami NAVTEX forecast area will cover the waters 
around the peninsula of Florida from Suwanee River on the Gulf Coast, to 
Flagler Beach on the Atlantic Coast, out 200 nm. The San Juan forecast 
area will cover the waters within 200 nm of the San Juan transmitter, to 
include the Mona Passage and part of the Anegada Passage.  This 
reconfiguration will better conform to the range of the transmitters, 
provide more detailed information along the immediate coast, and better 
meet broadcast time constraints.  
For more information, including maps of the new NAVTEX areas, please refer
to the following website:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/experimental/offshores/navtex.php

In order to better meet the time constraints for voice broadcast via the U.S. 
Coast Guard, two new products will be made available as listed in Table 4.  
These products will combine forecasts for the 32 zones in such a way that they 
will be similar to the Offshore Waters Forecasts before reconfiguration.
 

Table 4. Future Product Headers for USCG Voice Broadcasts:

Product Name                    WMO Heading      AWIPS ID

Broadcast Text for the          FZNT31 KNHC      MIAOFFN20
 Caribbean and Southwest
 North Atlantic
Broadcast Text for the Gulf     FZNT32 KNHC      MIAOFFN21
 Of Mexico

If you have any questions or comments about this reconfiguration of TAFB 
offshore waters marine zones please contact:

Hugh D. Cobb                    Richard May
Chief, TAFB                     NWS Headquarters
National Hurricane Center       Marine Services                              
11691 SW 17th Street            1325 East-West Highway 
Miami, FL  33165-2149           Silver Spring, MD  20910 
305-229-4454                    301-713-1677 x 127
Hugh.Cobb@noaa.gov              Richard.May@noaa.gov  
 
National Weather Service Change notices are posted at:
http://www.weather.gov/os/notif.htm

$$


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Page last modified: Thursday, 08-Dec-2011 14:16:09 UTC