Effective on or around June 1, 2017, the National Weather Service (NWS) will introduce new storm surge
watches and warnings for Atlantic tropical cyclones affecting the continental U.S. Information about the
new NWS storm surge watch/warning can be found in Service Change Notice 17-6:
These additions to the NWS product suite require changes to NWS Tropical Cyclone Watch/Warning (TCV)
products and Hurricane Local Statement (HLS) products. All TCV products issued by the NWS during the 2017
season for tropical cyclones originating in the Atlantic basin affecting the continental U.S. will include
Valid Time Event Code (VTEC) for storm surge watches and/or warnings when conditions warrant. TCV products
from Atlantic basin WFOs along the Gulf and East Coast as well as from the National Hurricane Center will
contain Universal Geographic Code (UGC) and the following Valid Time Event Codes (VTEC):
TR.A - Tropical Storm Watch
TR.W - Tropical Storm Warning
HU.A - Hurricane Watch
HU.W - Hurricane Warning
SS.A - Storm Surge Watch
SS.W - Storm Surge Warning
Information about VTEC can be found here:
Additional information on UGC and VTEC can be found in NWS Instruction (NWSI) 10-1701 and NWSI 10-1703,
In addition, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) will expand the tropical cyclone watch and warning information available in its National Tropical Cyclone Watch/Warning (TCVAT#) products issued for Atlantic tropical cyclones. In past hurricane seasons, the National TCV products for the Atlantic basin contained only the tropical cyclone wind watches and warnings along coastal segments issued by NHC. The National TCV products from NHC for the Atlantic basin will include all NWS-issued zone-based tropical cyclone wind and storm surge watches and warnings from both NHC and local Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) and will no longer contain breakpoint information. It should be noted that the process to compile the complete set of coastal and inland watches and warnings will result in a modest delay in the availability of the NHC-issued National TCV, which is expected to be available within 15 minutes of the nominal advisory time for routine advisories. In some circumstances, such as for the issuance of special advisories, it may be delayed as much as 45 minutes after the advisory time. Public Information Statements from NHC (PNSNHC), as well as social media, may be used to communicate significant issuance delays for any NHC products.
These changes to the NHC-issued National TCV are not applicable to the Pacific basin. National TCV products issued for the Pacific basin from NHC (TCVEP#) and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (TCVCP#) will continue to use only coastal segment or island VTEC as appropriate at this time.
Changes to the HLS products issued by WFOs to accommodate the new storm surge watches and warnings will be limited to the "NEW INFORMATION" section of the product. The subsections for "CHANGES TO THE WATCHES AND WARNINGS" and "CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS" will include storm surge watch warnings as applicable.
Recent examples of the 2016 products issued by WFOs are available at the links below:
Examples of the WFO and NHC issued TCV products with the new format can be found in the sections below.
The following are examples of the proposed changes to the WFO-issued tropical product to incorporate watches (SS.A) and warnings (SS.W) for Storm Surge.
Please direct all comments and questions to the individuals listed below:Jessica Schauer