1097 Effectively Communicating Medium-Range Extratropical Wind and Wave Hazards to the Maritime Community

Wednesday, 9 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Brad James Reinhart, NOAA, College Park, MD

The Ocean Prediction Center (OPC) is responsible for providing marine weather warnings and forecasts over the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. OPC forecasters protect life and property at sea by issuing gale, storm, and hurricane force wind warnings for extratropical weather systems impacting the forecast waters. Hurricane force wind events are particularly dangerous and relatively common over the OPC forecast domain. On average, OPC analyzes over 80 unique hurricane force events annually across both oceans.

Recent feedback from the maritime community suggests that these high-impact extratropical lows can be more difficult to plan and route for than tropical cyclones, particularly 3-5 days in advance of an event. Since the unique forecast products and warning graphics that are generated for tropical cyclones are presently not produced for extratropical systems, OPC must find additional ways to effectively convey extratropical wind and wave hazards to the maritime community. This presentation describes recent OPC efforts to begin addressing this need by providing enhanced medium-range forecast briefings to core partners such as the United States Coast Guard. It also examines how OPC can supplement its existing product suite to effectively communicate hazards several days in advance of a high-impact extratropical system.

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