NWS Melbourne Marine Web Letter
Standardized marine web interface launched! Marine Point and Click forecasts are now available on this site. Check out this new capability!
Near Shore Wind/Wave Model
Recently, data from a test case was displayed on our workstations. One of the first things we noticed from this higher resolution model was that it depicted the effect shoals have on wave heights around Cape Canaveral.
There is still much work that must be accomplished in order to produce real-time model simulations. Evaluations of the data will continue during our "Dry Season." We will also examine the best strategies to utilize this higher resolution data within our office and for display on the Internet.
Gulf Stream Page
I have created a Gulf Stream Page on our web site with some new links. One link is to a Wave Height in Gulf Stream Nomogram. The reason I did so was that this is about the time of year I start hearing complaints about extremely high sea heights that our forecast missed. Often it turns out that the boater was in the Gulf Stream and there were gusty north winds! The nomogram will give an idea of how much higher the wave heights can be when the winds oppose the Gulf Stream Current.
Also note that I discuss that the Gulf Stream should technically be called the "Florida Current."
Marine Weather Message
This new product is issued when Small Craft Advisories, Gale/Storm Watches/Warnings are in effect. Note the addition of Watches. Typically, watches precede warnings for land based products, so now watches have been extended to marine products. The Marine Weather Message is designed to give an overall summary of marine hazards that are in effect.
I am aware of the problems that Small Craft Advisories for Hazardous Seas cause for boaters when winds are rather light. Many boaters cancel trips and later hear that it was "flat as a pancake" on the coastal waters. Some must cancel trips due to insurance reasons. I continue to look for ways to better describe the sea state in order to minimize these lost opportunities. Basically the problem boils down to establishing a wave height vs. wave period relationship and setting a threshold that better defines hazardous conditions for small craft.
In order to substantiate the need and to change current policies, I would appreciate a few emails from boaters about this problem.
If you have a group that would like a speaker about marine forecasting, feel free to contact me. The Dry (Cool) season is usually a good time for me to get out of the office for talks. Randy.Lascody@noaa.gov
The next Marine Web Letter can be expected during January or February.