Month: March 2014

How to get NOAA forecast from SailDocs

2013 Pacific Hurricanes

Click to enlarge

Below is a conversation with Jim Corenman, founder of SailMail Association,  who has implemented distribution of the new experimental forecasts via SailDocs.  I had asked him about what is the proper way to get the forecasts.   It’s quite simple now!  (If you need a refresher on requesting files from SailDocs,  click here.) If you have any questions about the process, use the comment form at the bottom.

(more…)

Advertisements

Experimental Forecasts Now Available

UPDATE 0830 MDT March 25, 2014

Jim Corenman at SailMail Association has just notified me that Saildocs is now distributing the forecasts.  To request the forecasts all you need is to send an email to query@saildocs.com with this line in the body of the message:

send OFFPZ7       

This will send the forecast for Pacific Mexico coast.  For Central America south to Ecuador,  use this syntax:

send OFFPZ8

A full discussion of the process can be found here.

Mark


 

I am delighted to share with you the great news that the new NOAA forecast for the coastal East Pacific is now available on an experimental basis. Below you will find two URLs which will refresh (I believe) 4 times daily (230am PDT, 830am PDT, 230pm PDT, and 830pm PDT).

The simplest method for those of you without broadband Internet access will be to use Saildocs to “scrape” the data on a request basis. For example, for those interested in Mexican Pacific waters:

Send an email to: query@saildocs.com with this line in the body of the message:

send http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/experimental/epoffshores/data/WRKOFFPZ7

For those interested in Central America down to Ecuador, do the same thing but send an email to: query@saildocs.com with this line in the body of the message:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/experimental/epoffshores/data/WRKOFFPZ

Make sure the URL is in the top line of the message body without any spaces or indents.

Check your mail in a few minutes and your email service should send you the contents of those two URLs.

Net controllers: Please use the following disclaimer when reading the forecasts on your scheduled evenings:

“The following weather forecast is an EXPERIMENTAL product from NOAA. The product is in the beginnings of a trial phase, which will go on for several months. Until these forecasts become official, please use your prudence in interpreting this data especially when making travel plans.”

At the end of the weather briefing, please close it with this statement (please feel free to put it in your own words):

“That concludes the reading of the EXPERIMENTAL East Pacific Forecasts from NOAA. For more information regarding the trial phase, please see the Southbound Evening Net website at southboundnet.wordpress.com and sign up to become a beta tester.  Your feedback will be sent on to NOAA during the trial period and will help forecasters improve the product. Any questions or comments please call now.”

I will be incorporating this into a revised Preamble and will have it ready for you to download from the website.

Mark
SV Wendaway

 

Here is the information from Forecaster Lewitsky:

OFFPZ7 (Mexico)
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/experimental/epoffshores/data/WRKOFFPZ7

OFFPZ8 (Central America, Colombia and Ecuador)
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/experimental/epoffshores/data/WRKOFFPZ8

These should refresh automatically anytime the product is updated.

Also, please note that until these become operational if there are any
technical issues (e.g. the computer running the products goes down over a
weekend, etc) that they may become unavailable until the problem could be
fixed.

Revised Zones for new East Pacific Forecast

EPAC zones

Click for full size map

They Listened…

It’s very interesting the way NOAA is approaching the launch of its new East Pacific forecast service.  And the map at the left proves it.

The revised map shows three zones for the Sea of Cortez – a result I believe of feedback from cruisers to the original proposed zones which had the Sea broken into two zones.

As one cruiser put it (and I am paraphrasing), “The flaw in existing forecasts which have a “Northern Sea” above 27 degrees North latitude and another “Southern Sea” below 27 is that cruisers experience a very different reality,” he said.

Many cruisers suggested that three zones would be more useful and NOAA responded.

Now the Sea is divided into three sections – the Northern Gulf of California, Central, and Southern. As well, all the zones have had a “WFO” identifier associated with each zone which will make it easier for Saildocs to begin to distribute the forecasts.

 

Have a look at the zones and let me know what you think.

Also fyi –  here is what the zones look like on the  Atlantic coast in tropical waters. You’ll appreciate how extensive they are.

Atlantic tropical zones

Click to enlarge

West coast cruising life: a briefing for NOAA

Note:  Below is a briefing note I prepared for Jeffrey Lewitsky at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL. We’ve sent emails back and forth about the preparation of the EPAC coastal forecast from San Diego to Ecuador. One thing that was missing in my conversations with him was a sense of what keeps cruisers moving about on the Pacific coast of Mexico and south.  NOAA has been producing a similar product for East Coast pleasure craft for years, and given Jeffrey’s base there, I wanted to make sure he and his team had a sense of the “particularities” of life aboard over here, in the most general way.  If you have any comments to add, or stuff you think is just wrong, please let me know by filling out the comment box below!

(more…)

April 1 distribution of new NOAA forecast by Saildocs

Is this the official SailMail logo?

Looks like Saildocs (a service of SailMail Association) will be able to distribute the new forecasts by April 1, 2014. Jim Corenman and his team have been in contact with NOAA and hopefully all will be ready by April 1, 2014.

The experimental bulletins will be automatically pushed out every 6 hours (230am PDT, 830am PDT, 230pm PDT, and 830pm PDT) just as soon as all the technical elements are in place, Southbound Evening Net has been informed. What this means for the SBEN is that volunteer net controllers will have very fresh WX information to relay every evening, and all other nets will also benefit.

 

Technical Discussion of NOAA process

For those of you who are technically-minded, here is an overview of the NOAA process (by Jeffrey), between the experimental phase, and formal adoption as an official NOAA product:

“During the period from May 1 to Dec 1 we will be working to adjust our
workflow and deadlines for current products for the forecasters that would
be issuing the Pacific Offshore Waters Forecasts once they would become
official Dec 1. Until that point, the text output will be generated
automatically on the crons that I mentioned and they will not be QC’d on a
routine basis until Dec 1, at which point they will ALWAYS be QC’d prior to
transmission. That being said, please keep in mind that these text
forecasts are being generated off our 10km by 10km gridded database and the
forecasters ARE QC’ing and updating that underlying database every 6
hours.  As part of that process, the forecasters constantly examine current
observations, satellite, radar, and evaluate the latest global model runs
(GFS, ECMWF, UKMET, NAM, etc.) to construct and update the gridded
database.  We are even in the process of taking those forecaster
value-added winds to run our own local wave model so that the 2 parameters
(winds and waves) are completely coordinated.  Partitioned wave data will
fall out of that local wave model giving us a better picture of all wave
groups (wave height, direction and period per wave group) which will one
day soon also be included in the text forecasts. The text formatters
(software) that we use to then generate the text products which you would
receive during the trial period are not 100% perfect.  Thus the caveat that
the output will not be always QC’d should be applied until Dec 1.”

Sample Text #2 for Experimental Offshore Waters Forecast

EXPERIMENTAL…OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
444 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

…THIS MESSAGE IS FOR EXPERIMENTAL PURPOSES ONLY…

OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST FOR THE E PACIFIC WITHIN 250 NM OF
CENTRAL AMERICA…COLOMBIA…AND ECUADOR

SEAS GIVEN AS SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT…WHICH IS AVERAGE
HEIGHT OF THE HIGHEST 1/3 OF THE WAVES. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY BE
MORE THAN TWICE SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT.

PMZ111-172345-
SYNOPSIS FOR THE E PACIFIC WITHIN 250 NM OF CENTRAL AMERICA…
COLOMBIA…AND ECUADOR
444 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

.SYNOPSIS…

$$

PMZ111-172345-
GUATEMALA AND EL SALVADOR-
444 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

.TODAY…N TO NE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.TONIGHT…N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.TUE…E WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…SE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING N TO NE LATE.
SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.WED…NE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.THU…NE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.FRI…N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.

$$

PMZ113-172345-
EL SALVADOR TO NORTH COSTA RICA INCLUDING THE GULFS OF FONSECA
AND PAPAGAYO-
444 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

.TODAY…SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…SHIFTING TO N LATE. SEAS 3 TO 4
FT.
.TONIGHT…NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING W TO NW LATE.
SEAS 3 TO 4 FT.
.TUE…NE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING NE TO E 10 TO 15 KT LATE.
SEAS 3 TO 4 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…GULF OF PAPAGAYO…NE TO E WINDS 10 TO 15 KT…
INCREASING TO 15 TO 20 KT LATE. ELSEWHERE…NE WINDS 5 TO 10
KT…DIMINISHING TO LESS THAN 5 KT LATE. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.WED…NE TO E WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.THU…NE TO E WINDS 20 TO 25 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.FRI…NE TO E WINDS 20 TO 25 KT. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT.

$$

PMZ115-172345-
NORTH COSTA RICA TO WEST PANAMA-
444 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

.TODAY…SW TO W WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT. SEAS 3 TO 4 FT.
.TONIGHT…W WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…DIMINISHING TO LESS THAN 5 KT
LATE. SEAS 3 TO 4 FT.
.TUE…NW WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT…BECOMING N TO NE LATE.
SEAS 3 TO 4 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…NW WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT…SHIFTING TO SE TO S LATE.
SEAS 3 TO 4 FT.
.WED…W TO NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 3 TO 4 FT.
.THU…SW TO W WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.FRI…SW TO W WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.

$$

PMZ117-172345-
EAST PANAMA AND COLOMBIA INCLUDING GULF OF PANAMA-
444 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

.TODAY…GULF OF PANAMA…N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT…BECOMING NW TO N
5 TO 10 KT. ELSEWHERE…S TO SW WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT…BECOMING SW
LATE. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.TONIGHT…W WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…DIMINISHING TO LESS THAN 5 KT LATE.
SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.
.TUE…N WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT. SCATTERED SHOWERS
AND ISOLATED TSTMS.
.TUE NIGHT…GULF OF PANAMA…N TO NE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING
NE 10 TO 15 KT LATE. ELSEWHERE…NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING S
TO SW LATE. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.
.WED…W TO NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 TO 4 FT.
.THU…SW TO W WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.FRI…SW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.

$$

PMZ119-172345-
ECUADOR INCLUDING GULF OF GUAYAQUIL-
444 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

.TODAY…S TO SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.TONIGHT…SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING S TO SW LATE.
SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.TUE…S WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…S TO SW WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.WED…S TO SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.THU…S TO SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.FRI…S WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.

$$

THIS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL MESSAGE. DO NOT TAKE ACTION BASED ON
THIS MESSAGE.

$$

FORECASTER

Sample Text #1 for Experimental Offshore Waters Forecast

EXPERIMENTAL…OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
442 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

…THIS MESSAGE IS FOR EXPERIMENTAL PURPOSES ONLY…

OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST FOR THE E PACIFIC WITHIN 250 NM OF
MEXICO

SEAS GIVEN AS SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT…WHICH IS AVERAGE
HEIGHT OF THE HIGHEST 1/3 OF THE WAVES. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY BE
MORE THAN TWICE SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT.

PMZ001-172345-
SYNOPSIS FOR THE E PACIFIC WITHIN 250 NM OF MEXICO
442 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

.SYNOPSIS…

$$

PMZ011-172345-
US MEXICO BORDER TO PUNTA EUGENIA-
442 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

.TODAY…NW TO N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 6 TO 9 FT SEBASTIAN
VIZCAINO BAY…AND 8 TO 12 FT ELSEWHERE.
.TONIGHT…NW WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 7 TO 10 FT IN SEBASTIAN
VIZCAINO BAY…AND 8 TO 13 FT ELSEWHERE.
.TUE…NW WINDS 15 TO 20 KT…DIMINISHING TO 10 TO 15 KT LATE.
SEAS 6 TO 9 FT IN SEBASTIAN VIZCAINO BAY…AND 9 TO 12 FT ELSEWHERE.
.TUE NIGHT…NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 7 TO 10 FT.
.WED…W TO NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.THU…NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.FRI…NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 6 TO 9 FT.

$$

PMZ013-172345-
PUNTA EUGENIA TO CABO SAN LAZARO-
442 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

.TODAY…N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT WITHIN 60 NM OF
SHORE…AND 7 TO 10 FT ELSEWHERE.
.TONIGHT…NW TO N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 6 TO 9 FT WITHIN
60 NM OF SHORE…AND 8 TO 10 FT ELSEWHERE.
.TUE…NW TO N WINDS 15 TO 20 KT…DIMINISHING TO 10 TO 15 KT
LATE. SEAS 6 TO 9 FT WITHIN 60 NM OF SHORE…AND 8 TO 10 FT ELSEWHERE.
.TUE NIGHT…NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT…BECOMING NW TO N 5 TO 10 KT
LATE. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT WITHIN 60 NM OF SHORE…AND 7 TO 9 FT ELSEWHERE.
.WED…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT.
.THU…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.FRI…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.

$$

PMZ015-172345-
CABO SAN LAZARO TO CABO SAN LUCAS-
442 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

.TODAY…WITHIN 60 NM OF SHORE…N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT…BECOMING N
TO NE 5 TO 10 KT LATE. ELSEWHERE…N WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 5 TO
7 FT WITHIN 60 NM OF SHORE…AND 6 TO 8 FT ELSEWHERE.
.TONIGHT…N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT…DIMINISHING TO 5 TO 10 KT LATE.
SEAS 6 TO 9 FT.
.TUE…N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT WITHIN 60 NM OF SHORE…
AND 8 TO 9 FT ELSEWHERE.
.TUE NIGHT…N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT.
.WED…N TO NE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.THU…N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.FRI…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.

$$

PMZ017-172345-
NORTHERN GULF OF CALIFORNIA-
442 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

.TODAY…NW TO N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT…DIMINISHING TO 5 TO 10
KT…THEN…SHIFTING TO S TO SW LATE. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.
.TONIGHT…S TO SW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 1 TO 2 FT.
.TUE…W TO NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING NW 10 TO 15 KT LATE.
SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…W TO NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 TO 4 FT.
.WED…NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.
.THU…SW TO W WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 1 FT OR LESS.
.FRI…S TO SW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 1 TO 2 FT.

$$

PMZ019-172345-
CENTRAL GULF OF CALIFORNIA-
442 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

.TODAY…N WINDS 15 TO 20 KT…BECOMING NW TO N 10 TO 15 KT.
SEAS 4 TO 6 FT…SUBSIDING TO 2 TO 3 FT LATE.
.TONIGHT…NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT…BECOMING SW TO W 5 TO 10 KT LATE.
SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.
.TUE…S WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 1 TO 2 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…SE TO S WINDS 10 TO 15 KT…BECOMING S TO SW 5 TO 10 KT
LATE. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.
.WED…NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 1 TO 2 FT.
.THU…NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 1 TO 2 FT.
.FRI…SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 1 FT.

$$

PMZ021-172345-
SOUTHERN GULF OF CALIFORNIA-
442 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

.TODAY…N TO NE WINDS 15 TO 20 KT…BECOMING N 5 TO 10 KT.
SEAS 5 TO 7 FT…SUBSIDING TO 2 TO 4 FT LATE.
.TONIGHT…NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT…BECOMING W TO NW 5 TO 10 KT
LATE. SEAS 2 TO 4 FT.
.TUE…W WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT…BECOMING S 10 TO 15 KT LATE.
SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…S WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.
.WED…SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 1 TO 2 FT.
.THU…NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.
.FRI…W WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.

$$

PMZ023-172345-
ENTRANCE TO THE GULF OF CALIFORNIA INCLUDING CABO CORRIENTES-
442 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

.TODAY…N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT.
.TONIGHT…N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.TUE…E TO SE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING SE 10 TO 15 KT
LATE. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…S WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING NE TO E LATE.
SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.WED…N TO NE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.THU…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.FRI…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.

$$

PMZ025-172345-
MEXICO – MICHOACHAN AND GUERRERO-
442 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

.TODAY…NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT…BECOMING N 5 TO 10 KT LATE.
SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.TONIGHT…E TO SE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.TUE…E TO SE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…E TO SE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.WED…N TO NE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.THU…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.FRI…NW TO N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 4 TO 5 FT.

$$

PMZ027-172345-
MEXICO – OAXACA AND CHIAPAS INCLUDING THE GULF OF TEHUANTEPEC-
442 AM PDT MON MAR 17 2014

…GALE WARNING…

.TODAY…GULF OF TEHUANTEPEC…W TO NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT…BECOMING
N TO NE WINDS 25 TO 35 KT LATE. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT…BUILDING TO 7 TO
10 FT LATE. ELSEWHERE…NE TO E WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.TONIGHT…GULF OF TEHUANTEPEC…N TO NE WINDS 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS
8 TO 12 FT…BUILDING TO 9 TO 14 FT LATE. ELSEWHERE…NE TO E WINDS
10 TO 15 KT…INCREASING TO 15 TO 20 KT LATE. SEAS 6 TO 9 FT.
.TUE…NE TO E WINDS 15 TO 20 KT…DIMINISHING TO 10 TO 15 KT LATE.
SEAS 6 TO 9 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…GULF OF TEHUANTEPEC…E WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…DIMINISHING
TO LESS THAN 5 KT LATE. ELSEWHERE…E WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 4 TO
6 FT.
.WED…N TO NE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.THU…N TO NE WINDS 20 TO 25 KT GULF OF TEHUANTEPEC…AND N 5 TO
10 KT ELSEWHERE. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.FRI…NW TO N WINDS 15 TO 20 KT GULF OF TEHUANTEPEC…AND NW TO
N 5 TO 10 KT ELSEWHERE. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.

$$

THIS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL MESSAGE. DO NOT TAKE ACTION BASED ON
THIS MESSAGE.

$$

FORECASTER

New NOAA Pacific coastal weather forecast a step closer

NOAA forecaster Jeffrey Lewitsky and his team of meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center (Miami) are getting closer to having  their new forecast ready for official distribution (for a description of its basic form, see here).

There is now an experimental version of the forecast which will soon be released on a daily basis. The very first one gives an idea of the way the coast from San Diego to Ecuador will be covered by a number of new zones. You’ll see that the outside of the Baja is divided up into three zones, as is the Sea of Cortez.

Another zone extends from Cabo San Lucas down to Cabo Corrientes, which is sort of like an “extended southern crossing”, which for the duration of the experimental phase is identified as PMZ 021, “ENTRANCE TO THE GULF OF CALIFORNIA INCLUDING CABO CORRIENTES-“.    If you click here you’ll see the entire range of proposed zones. However, thanks to initial input from several cruisers, the Sea of Cortez has now been divided into three zones.

Below,  the first forecast for discussion purposes only;  and after that, a brief discussion by Forecaster Lewitsky on some of the practicalities and scheduling of the forecasts.

Here is the text of the forecast – remembering that it is an experimental document only and not to be used for navigation.

EXPERIMENTAL…OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
421 PM EST SAT MAR 8 2014

…THIS MESSAGE IS FOR EXPERIMENTAL PURPOSES ONLY…

OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST FOR THE E PACIFIC WITHIN 250 NM OF
MEXICO

SEAS GIVEN AS SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT…WHICH IS THE AVERAGE
HEIGHT OF THE HIGHEST 1/3 OF THE WAVES. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY BE
MORE THAN TWICE THE SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT.

PMZ001-090930-
SYNOPSIS FOR THE E PACIFIC WITHIN 250 NM OF MEXICO
421 PM EST SAT MAR 8 2014

.SYNOPSIS…

$$

PMZ011-090930-
US MEXICO BORDER TO PUNTA FALSA-
421 PM EST SAT MAR 8 2014

.TONIGHT…NW TO N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT…BECOMING N 5 TO 10 KT
LATE. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT.
.SUN…N TO NE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.SUN NIGHT…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT.
.MON…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 6 TO 9 FT.
.MON NIGHT…NW TO N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 7 TO 9 FT.
.TUE…NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 7 TO 10 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT…DIMINISHING TO 5 TO 10 KT
LATE. SEAS 6 TO 9 FT.
.WED…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.THU…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT.

$$

PMZ013-090930-
PUNTA FALSA TO CABO SAN LAZARO-
421 PM EST SAT MAR 8 2014

.TONIGHT…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT.
.SUN…N TO NE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.SUN NIGHT…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.MON…NE TO E WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.MON NIGHT…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 6 TO 9 FT.
.TUE…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 6 TO 7 FT.
.WED…NW TO N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.THU…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.

$$

PMZ015-090930-
CABO SAN LAZARO TO CABO SAN LUCAS-
421 PM EST SAT MAR 8 2014

.TONIGHT…NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 7 TO 8 FT.
.SUN…NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING W TO NW LATE.
SEAS 6 TO 7 FT.
.SUN NIGHT…W TO NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING NW
LATE. SEAS 5 TO 6 FT.
.MON…NE WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.MON NIGHT…N WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.TUE…N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 6 TO 7 FT.
.WED…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.THU…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.

$$

PMZ017-090930-
NORTHERN GULF OF CALIFORNIA-
421 PM EST SAT MAR 8 2014

.TONIGHT…NW WINDS 15 TO 20 KT…INCREASING TO 20 TO 25 KT
LATE. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.SUN…N WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 2 TO 4 FT.
.SUN NIGHT…NW WINDS 20 TO 25 KT…BECOMING NW TO N 10 TO 15 KT
LATE. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.MON…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING NW LATE.
SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.
.MON NIGHT…SE TO S WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING S TO SW 10 TO
15 KT LATE. SEAS 1 TO 2 FT.
.TUE…SW TO W WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 1 TO 2 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING NW 10 TO 15 KT
LATE. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.
.WED…NW WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 2 TO 4 FT.
.THU…NW WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.

$$

PMZ019-090930-
SOUTHERN GULF OF CALIFORNIA-
421 PM EST SAT MAR 8 2014

.TONIGHT…S TO SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING W TO NW 10 TO
15 KT LATE. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.
.SUN…N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…SHIFTING TO SE LATE.
SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.
.SUN NIGHT…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.
.MON…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING NE LATE.
SEAS 1 TO 2 FT.
.MON NIGHT…NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING W TO NW
LATE. SEAS 1 TO 2 FT.
.TUE…SW TO W WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT. SEAS 1 TO 2 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…SW TO W WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 1 TO 2 FT.
.WED…NW WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 2 TO 4 FT.
.THU…NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.

$$

PMZ021-090930-
ENTRANCE TO THE GULF OF CALIFORNIA INCLUDING CABO CORRIENTES-
421 PM EST SAT MAR 8 2014

.TONIGHT…W TO NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…DIMINISHING TO LESS THAN
5 KT LATE. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.SUN…W WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.SUN NIGHT…W TO NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.MON…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.MON NIGHT…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.TUE…N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT…BECOMING NW TO N 5 TO 10 KT
LATE. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.WED…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.THU…N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.

$$

PMZ023-090930-
MEXICO – MICHOACHAN AND GUERRERO-
421 PM EST SAT MAR 8 2014

.TONIGHT…N WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.SUN…NE WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.SUN NIGHT…SE WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT…SHIFTING TO N
LATE. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.MON…NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.MON NIGHT…NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…INCREASING TO 10 TO 15 KT
LATE. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.TUE…NW TO N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT…BECOMING NW 5 TO 10 KT
LATE. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.WED…NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.THU…N TO NE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.

$$

PMZ025-090930-
MEXICO – OAXACA AND CHIAPAS INCLUDING THE GULF OF TEHUANTEPEC-
421 PM EST SAT MAR 8 2014

.TONIGHT…NE WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.SUN…NE WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.SUN NIGHT…N WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.MON…N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.MON NIGHT…W TO NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.TUE…W TO NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.TUE NIGHT…W TO NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.WED…NW WINDS LESS THAN 5 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.THU…N TO NE WINDS 20 TO 25 KT. SEAS 7 TO 10 FT.

$$

THIS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL MESSAGE. DO NOT TAKE ACTION BASED ON
THIS MESSAGE.

$$

FORECASTER LEWITSKY

***

And here is Jeffrey’s explanation about the nuts and bolts of the process. Please let me know if you want to get regular forecasts.

Note a few things about the forecasts…

1) They will be running automatically on a cron, every 6 hours for now.
Forecasters will not be QCing the data on a routine basis until closer to
the planned official implementation date of Dec. 1st.  This is because we
are in the process of adjusting our “work flow” / deadlines / etc. to be
able to accommodate this new service.

2) A synopsis section describing weather conditions during the next 5 days
will be provided when forecasters start issuing the product (when the cron
is permanently disabled).

3) In addition to the individual zones you see in the sample text, we are
subdividing some of the zones into smaller areas which will be included
*if* criteria is met.  For example, the zone that contains the Gulf of
Tehuantepec will have a special “local effect area” so that if a Gale is to
occur there it will be broken out into more detail separately (GULF OF
TEHUANTEPEC…), with the remainder of the zone labeled as ELSEWHERE…
This will capture special areas quite nicely (e.g. Gulf of Papagayo, near
Cabo Corrientes, Gulf of Panama, etc.).

4) Currently the forecasts will be labeled in the ET time zone.  These
proposed forecasts will cross (5) different time zones total so ideally we
would be sending them with UTC time labels, however currently they default
to the issuing offices local time (Miami).  Stay tuned for developments on
that issue.

I will look in to the source of the paragraph that you provided me about
the Gulf of California and get back to you with what I find.

Thanks for the feedback as always,
-Jeff

***