PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
119 PM CDT THU MAY 28 2009

...HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK...HURRICANE FORECASTS...

PART OF THE MISSION OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE...INCLUDING THE
TROPICAL PREDICTION CENTER...IS TO SAVE LIVES AND PROTECT PROPERTY
BY ISSUING WATCHES...WARNINGS AND FORECASTS FOR HAZARDOUS WEATHER
CONDITIONS IN THE TROPICS. THIS SECTION PROVIDES INFORMATION ABOUT
THE ROLES OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING HURRICANE INFORMATION
TO EMERGENCY MANAGERS AND DECISION MAKERS.

THE TROPICAL PREDICTION CENTER IS COMPRISED OF THE NATIONAL
HURRICANE CENTER...THE TROPICAL ANALYSIS AND FORECAST BRANCH...AND
THE TECHNICAL SUPPORT BRANCH. DURING HURRICANE SEASON...THE LATTER
TWO PROVIDE SUPPORT TO THE HURRICANE CENTER. FORECASTS ARE ALSO
COORDINATED WITH THE LOCAL NWS FORECAST OFFICES...WHICH ADD LOCAL
DETAIL TO THE HURRICANE WATCHES AND WARNINGS...AND ALSO EXTEND THE
WARNINGS TO INLAND AREAS IF NECESSARY. THE FORECAST PROCESS FOLLOWS
CERTAIN STEPS...

OBSERVATION AND ANALYSIS...
TOOLS FOR OBSERVING TROPICAL CYCLONES INCLUDE SATELLITES...BUOYS...
RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT AND RADAR. THESE OBSERVATIONS ARE USED TO
ANALYZE THE INTENSITY...SIZE AND MOVEMENT OF THESE STORMS.

MODEL GUIDANCE AND INTERPRETATION...
THE COMPUTER MODELS TAKE IN THE OBSERVATIONS AS A STARTING
POINT...AND PERFORM MILLIONS OF CALCULATIONS TO GENERATE PREDICTIONS
OF HURRICANE TRACK AND OF THE GENERAL CONDITIONS OF THE ATMOSPHERE
IN WHICH THE HURRICANE IS EMBEDDED. THE MODEL RESULTS ARE PACKAGED
AS GUIDANCE TO THE NATIONAL CENTERS AND LOCAL OFFICES FOR EVALUATION
AND USE IN THE NWS FORECAST AND WARNING PROCESS.

COORDINATION AND PRODUCT GENERATION...
FORECASTS AND WARNINGS ARE COORDINATED BETWEEN THE NATIONAL CENTERS
AND LOCAL FORECAST OFFICES. ONCE THE COORDINATION AND COLLABORATION
PROCESS IS COMPLETE...THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AND LOCAL
OFFICES GENERATE FORECAST AND WARNING PRODUCTS FOR RELEASE TO THE
PUBLIC.

PRODUCT DISSEMINATION...
TIMELY AND RELIABLE DISSEMINATION OF FORECASTS AND WARNINGS IS
CRITICAL TO THE PROTECTION OF LIFE AND PROPERTY. THE LOCAL MEDIA
PLAY A VITAL ROLE IN RELAYING THIS FORECAST AND WARNING INFORMATION
TO THE PUBLIC.

COORDINATION WITH CUSTOMERS...
THE HURRICANE CENTER AND THE NWS FORECAST OFFICES WORK WITH LOCAL
COMMUNITY LEADERS...MEDIA...AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO DETERMINE
WHETHER THE FORECAST AND WARNING PRODUCTS ISSUED WERE USEFUL AND HOW
THEY CAN PROVIDE BETTER SERVICE IN THE FUTURE.

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