National Weather Service Key West Marine Zone Alignment Change

Effective July 7, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. EDT (18:00 UTC)

The Weather Forecast Office (WFO) Key West marine zones currently in use (see Fig. 1) were developed in 1999, the year that WFO Key West "spun up" as part of the National Weather Service Modernization and Restructuring (MAR).  Although this configuration represented an improvement over the very course marine zones in place prior to MAR, advances in wave modeling, forecast preparation, and forecast dissemination have created an opportunity to significantly improve the value of marine forecasts to partners and customers.

Below is the current representation of the Florida Keys Coastal Waters Zones:

keymz
Fig. 1.  Current NWS Key West marine zones.

Proposal:  A new configuration of marine zones (Fig. 2), based on the ability to provide a more accurate and coherent representation of higher resolution and more skillful wind and wave predictions, will take effect on Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. EDT (18:00 UTC).

The new Florida Keys Coastal Waters Zones are displayed below:

newzones
Fig. 2.  New marine zone configuration for NWS Key West effective July 7, 2011.


The following are the new marine zone names and Universal Geographic Codes (UGCs) effective July 7, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. EDT (18:00 UTC):

GMZ031:  Florida Bay including Blackwater and Buttonwood Sounds
GMZ032:  Bayside and Gulfside from Craig Key to Halfmoon Shoal out to 5 fathoms
GMZ033:  Gulf waters from East Cape Sable to Chokoloskee 20 to 60 NM out and beyond 5 fathoms
GMZ034:  Gulf of Mexico including Dry Tortugas and Rebecca Shoal Channel
GMZ042:  Hawk Channel from Ocean Reef to Craig Key out to the reef
GMZ043:  Hawk Channel from Craig Key to west end of Seven Mile Bridge out to the reef
GMZ044:  Hawk Channel from west end of Seven Mile Bridge to Halfmoon Shoal out to the reef
GMZ052:  Straits of Florida from Ocean Reef to Craig Key out 20 NM
GMZ053:  Straits of Florida from Craig Key to west end of Seven Mile Bridge out 20 NM
GMZ054:  Straits of Florida from west end of Seven Mile Bridge to south of Halfmoon Shoal out 20 NM
GMZ055:  Straits of Florida from Halfmoon Shoal to 20 NM west of Dry Tortugas out 20 NM
GMZ072:  Straits of Florida from Ocean Reef to Craig Key 20 to 60 NM out
GMZ073:  Straits of Florida from Craig Key to west end of Seven Mile Bridge 20 to 60 NM out
GMZ074:  Straits of Florida from west end of Seven Mile Bridge to south of Halfmoon Shoal 20 to 60 NM out
GMZ075:  Straits of Florida from Halfmoon Shoal to 20 NM west of Dry Tortugas 20 to 60 NM out


For questions or comments on this marine zone change, please contact:

Kennard "Chip" Kasper
Melinda Bailey
Marine Program Leader Public / Marine Meteorologist
National Weather Service National Weather Service
WFO Key West Southern Region Headquarters
1315 White Street 819 Taylor St. Room 10a11
Key West, FL   33040 Fort Worth, TX   76102
305-295-1316 817-978-1100 x107
Kennard.Kasper@noaa.gov Melinda.Bailey@noaa.gov

 


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