NOAA changes US coastal forecast zones

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center has just announced changes to the forecast zones that stretch along the US Pacific coastline from British Columbia – Washington border south to part of the outside of Baja California. Essentially the forecasters have split up zones into smaller, presumably more accurate areas. Prior to the changes, there were five zones along the “lower 48” west coast; now there are 19 zones.



The change was highlighted in red text and the reason given shows that NOAA is paying attention to its Twitter/Facebook feeds

Feedback from various NWS customers and partners has been received and assimilated. The final zone changes will be implemented April 1, 2014 at 1800 UTC (200 PM EDT).


Here is the fuller explanation:

“User feedback over the years has focused on the fact that the forecast zones are too large to provide detailed forecasts for their needs and also that the forecast zones are not always aligned with the various user areas of responsibilities or key bathymetric features. The new forecast zones address many of our users’ concerns and are designed to meet their needs for clear, concise forecasts that are aligned with other NWS boundaries.”

I am not sure what “various user areas of responsibilities” means but I’m guessing it means the parts of the ocean where people are most often found. If so, it shows the necessity of providing feedback to NOAA wherever you go, too.


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